Since 2010, RFSL has been collaborating with Arus Pelangi, a federation of LGBTQ organisations in Indonesia.
Arus Pelangi offers legal support to LGBTQ people, and inform and educate about LGBTQ and human rights issues. They also work towards reforming Indonesian politics through campaigns and lobbying. Arus Pelangi collaborates with local member organisations within the project.
Although it is not illegal to be LGBTQ according to national law, the Indonesian legal system does not recognise or support LGBTQ persons’ rights, and there are no anti-discrimination laws on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. However, there are some local regulations that criminalise non-normative gender identities and sexualities. Police and authorities often neglect to protect LGBTQ people from attacks. Transgender people particularly experience a lot of discrimination, with great difficulties in employment, accommodation and identity documents, especially for the group of “warias”, trans women.
Through the project, which is supported by Forum Syd, the implementing organisations aim to increase the acceptance of LGBTQ people in Indonesia and, in recent years, has focused on the authorities, religious leaders and politicians recognising LGBTQ human rights.
Arus Pelangi and their member organisations organise trainings and workshops about LGBTQ issues and human rights, as well as social gatherings for the community, to combat stigma and build safe spaces for LGBTQ persons.
Another important aspect of the project is the organisational development within the organisations. Over the course of this project, the capacity of the organisations has increased substantially and Arus Pelangi is an important actor in the entire Southeast Asian region regarding LGBTQ issues and human rights.