This workshop, convened by the YP Foundation and Regions Refocus, brought together queer, trans, youth, feminist, and sexuality activists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the workshop explored challenges, shifting policy scenarios, and cutting edge sexuality issues. Participants shared advocacy experiences and strategized around public policy on sexuality in the region. As an important regional effort to decentralize the debate and enable greater regional specificity on an issue typically neglected in the global sphere, this meeting set the stage for concrete advocacy and follow-up in the region. The workshop addressed the regional policy and political landscape for LGBT and broader sexuality issues and examined the dichotomies between law and policy, between human rights and development, and between rights and justice. Participants also analyzed specificities of sexuality in South Asia: transgender rights, lesbian identities, and comprehensive sexuality education. During the final session, the workshop envisioned global and regional linkages between sexuality policy, development, and human rights debates, through a comparative analysis of various facets of the multilateral arena.
Participants collectively produced a matrix on regional policy on sexuality, which offered regional comparison on comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programming and policy particularly for youth and adolescents, expanding government recognition on transgender and third gender identities, interlinkages between caste, class, gender, and sexuality. This enhanced the subsequent advocacy of participants regionally. Participants proposed a regional research hub to anchor future work, and at the global level, participants committed to fostering cross-movement collaboration on public policy, most notably at the convergence of sexuality and economic justice.