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Blogs and Op-Eds by the Youth Co:lab team and contributors from our extensive network of changemakers. 

  • Writer's pictureYouth Co:Lab

No One Left Behind: Equality, Freedom and Justice for All

Updated: May 17

To create a society where everyone's voice matters, we must listen to individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Across the Asia Pacific region, young advocates for LGBTI+ rights face challenges like discrimination and a lack of legal protection. These hurdles manifest in workplace biases and limited access to healthcare. However, through social entrepreneurship, LGBTI+ youth find a platform to address these issues and drive positive change. 


In the lead up to International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) 2024, under the theme "No One Left Behind: Equality, Freedom, and Justice for All," Youth Co:Lab, co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation, organized a Springboard PLUS programme session. It aimed to highlight the significant impact of young LGBTI+ entrepreneurs and their crucial role in fostering inclusive growth and sustainable development. 


The session, moderated by Jawying Lyster, Regional Programme Specialist of HIV, Health Group at UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, featured insightful discussions led by distinguished speakers. Kate Palenzuela, Senior Vice President in Digital Banking at Citi, Amber Jones, Founder & CEO of PEERS, and PichMony Thay, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist at Impact Hub Phnom Penh, shared their experiences and recommendations. 


The speakers shed light on the myriad challenges faced by young LGBTI+ individuals in the Asia-Pacific region, including socio-cultural, financial, legal, economic, and institutional barriers hindering their entrepreneurial endeavors. They also offered practical solutions and lessons learned from their experiences, emphasizing the importance of inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems that empower LGBTI+ youth to thrive and contribute positively to their communities and societies. 


Watch the Full Webinar on our Learning Platform:  

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