Australia funds program to ease transgender stigma

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The Australian government will provide Vietnam more than US$105,000 this month for a project aimed at raising awareness of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The project aims to reduce discrimination against these groups through community education, the Australian consulate in Ho Chi Minh City said in a press release. 

It will directly reach an estimated 20,000 students and members of the public, 200 LGBT persons, 500 of their parents and friends, and 75 government officials in Hanoi and HCMC.

There will be art-based activities such as contemporary plays and exhibitions to raise awareness about LGBT persons' rights.

The project will improve access to legal advice for victims of discrimination and sensitize officials to the challenges they face, helping reduce discrimination.

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Allaster Cox, the Australian ambassador, said: "Lesbians and gay, bisexual and transgender people are a part of society, and their legal needs and rights should be respected."

The project will be run by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), a Vietnamese non-profit organization.

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