Rainbow Community of Kampuchea (RoCK)
Rainbow Community of Kampuchea (RoCK) is a Cambodian non-government organization dedicated to supporting LGBTIQ rights in Cambodia. RoCK’s vision is a Cambodia where LGBTIQ citizens live their life receiving full and equal respect, acceptance and human rights from all sectors of society, most especially families, communities and authorities.
RoCK advances this vision through improving the lives of LGBTIQ people in Cambodia so that LGBTIQ people feel confident to be who they are, ensuring that LGBTIQ peoples’ rights are recognized and respected by society, and that families and communities understand and accept LGBTIQ people, and ensuring that LGBTIQ people have a secure livelihood with decreased stigma and discrimination and strengthened solidarity and self-help among the LGBTIQ community.
RoCK’s two main programs are: (i) organising and empowering LGBTIQ members across all 25 provinces in Cambodia to advocate for their rights and mobilise support from local authorities and the public; (ii) advocating for change through media, communications and events on the rights of LGBTIQ people, including marriage, adoption, gender recognition and anti-discrimination.
RoCK and IWDA
IWDA’s partnership with RoCK began in February 2019. RoCK was a voluntary group formed in 2009 by nine LGBTIQ activists to organise and promote rights for Cambodian LGBTIQ people. Seeing the need to have an organisational structure to better support and promote Cambodian LGBTIQ rights, RoCK registered as a Non-Government Organisation in 2014, becoming the first organisation in Cambodia fully dedicated to LGBTIQ rights and advocacy.
◽ In 2015, RoCK published the largest quantitative research on LGBTIQ issues ever undertaken in Cambodia: “Opinions, Attitudes and Behavior towards the LGBT Population in Cambodia”. The research interviewed a total of 1,563 Cambodians across 11 provinces, including 1085 heterosexual and 478 LGBTIQ people. The priority needs identified by LGBTIQ people in the research were: adoption rights for same sex couples, legalising same-sex marriage (or civil partnership), and legal avenues to change gender identity.
◽ In 2019, IWDA supported RoCK to conduct a study on family violence towards lesbian and bisexual women and transgender men (LBT) titled, “I married to a man to satisfy my parents”. It found that 81% of LBT people have faced emotional violence and 35% of those under 35 years old, have at some point in their lives considered/attempted suicide due to their family’s denial of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.