Media Release
Friday, 11 December 2020


Thousands of people across Oceania in all their diversities commemorate annual Human Rights Day. Human Rights Day is observed around the world on 10th December to mark the anniversary of the day the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. World Human Rights Day also marks the closing of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

ILGA Oceania will continue to spotlight the urgency for countries in the Oceania Region to uphold and protect the human rights of persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics (SOGISEC) and will continue calling on Oceania Leaders and stakeholders to ensure that, even during this public health emergency, they will neither exacerbate existing misconceptions, prejudices, inequalities or structural barriers, nor lead to increased multiple and intersecting forms of violence and oppressions targeted at persons of diverse sexual orientation, diverse gender identity and expression, and/or diverse sex characteristics.

"As we start to recover from a global pandemic, we need to remember to continue to champion our human rights and embed human rights for all. We will continue to defend and advocate the human rights for sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGISEC) minorities in our region. As well as those who have inter-sectional characteristics such as disabled people and indigenous people", Rawa Karetai (New Zealand Representative for ILGA Oceania) said.

"The Pacific region today has made progress on LGBTIQA Rights but much further needs to be done. Therefore, the Board and Organisation I co-represent, ILGA Oceania, are calling on the Pacific Island Forum leaders including Australia & New Zealand to take action and implement comprehensive legislations and policies that promote and protect the rights of LGBTIQA people of the Pacific. We have no time to waste, we have to further political, economic and social commitment." said ILGA Oceania Co Chair Ken Moala (Pacific Traditional Elder).

ILGA Oceania reiterates the need also to ensure a continued effort at the elimination of torture, discrimination, and violence for the Oceania and to further calls on leaders of the Pacific region to cultivate a culture of democracy, where the Rule of Law is upheld and the rights of all LGBTIQA persons are fully recognised.

"We further call on the Pacific Islands countries and territories that have yet to decriminalise homosexuality, to further its human rights commitments and obligations in upholding the rights of all LGBTIQA people, especially in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu, because this is the right and most just thing to do. Gender Justice must always be at the heart of Pacific Development and Interest." said ILGA Oceania Co Chair Vanessa Lee Ah Mat (Australian Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander).

"The Day your ego, your fame, your degree makes you justify why you are unkind and why you refuse to apologise to transgender people, any people, who continue to be hurt by your biases, remember your own tears. Those tears, we’ve all shed those all too familiar tears that run cold down our faces because someone said we were lesser than. Remember we’re all created equal and should remain equal regardless of privileges." said Ratu Eroni Dina (ILGA Oceania Transgender Board Representative).

Today, ILGA Oceania stands in solidarity with activists across Oceania, as this is a moment where we must highlight human rights of LGBTIQA people. The hope is that every day must become a day to promote the rights of all LGBTIQA people in the region and where we are all committed to respecting human rights not just for some but for all LGBTIQA people.


Vanessa Lee-AhMat

+61 (0)4-17-973-001 [ILGA Oceania Co-Chair, Female]

Fia'ailetoa Ken Moala

+61 (0)4-51-112-293 [ILGA Oceania Co-Chair, General]
www.ilgaoceania Facebook"