Tackling poverty of LGBTI people in Cambodia

CambodiaAlthough homosexuality is not criminalized, LGBTI people in Cambodia are regularly abused and subjected to socio-economic exclusion by their family, community, employers, local authorities and the police. As a result the LGBTI citizens of Cambodia are more at risk of becoming, and remaining, poor.

According to the World Bank, 20% (400,000) of the 2 million people living in Phnom Penh do so below the poverty line. To make matters worse the gap in poverty reduction strategies is huge. Development aid consistently fails to address sexual minorities and the few that do focus on HIV prevention of MSMs (men who have sex with men).

In 2014, we travelled to Cambodia to meet with several LGBT NGOs and human rights groups. We learned about the many levels of discrimination endured by LGBT people, including:

  • Rejection by their families and communities forces many to leave home and give up school
  • Abusive police often arrest gays and transwomen
  • Forced marriages of lesbians and transgender men
  • Little access to health services including sexual and reproductive health
  • Few job opportunities leave many to resort to sex work and drug dealing
  • Isolation and lack social safety nets
  • LGBT students and teachers are regularly removed from schools

With our local partners we are evaluating our pilot activities and designing a sustainable poverty reduction strategy that will change social attitudes and improve the lives of LGBTI people.

This programme is funded solely by the generosity of MRI Allies. If you would like us to continue tackling poverty of LGBTI people in Cambodia please consider becoming an MRI Ally today. To find out more about our work sign up to receive our quarterly e-bulletin or contact us

Cambodia Publication

Cambodia Report in Khmer

Related posts

MRI shares its work at Allen & Overy

July 19, 2017: On 22 May, MRI with the LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees choir joined the Allen & Overy LGBT Network “A&Out”. MRI’s Founder and CEO, Sebastian Rocca, presented the work of MRI in Brazil, Cambodia and the UK. He spoke about the challenges and issues that LGBTI people face in...

Read More

2016 MRI’s 10K Pride Run  

August 23, 2016: On August 13th, 2016 a group of 25 allies gathered for a 10K Pride run in Victoria Park, London, to raise funds for Micro Rainbow International. MRI's mission is to help LGBTI people to step out of poverty: by setting up small businesses, accessing training or finding employment. MRI works to...

Read More

Abuse of Cambodian LGBT makes and keeps them poor!

May 10, 2016: Press Release Abuse of Cambodian LGBT makes and keeps them poor! Many LGBT people in Cambodia are destined to be and remain poor according to a new report by Micro Rainbow International [1] and CamASEAN Youth’s Future [2]. The report “Poverty of LGBT people in Cambodia” [3] shows that...

Read More

…what a year!

January 5, 2016: From the bottom of our heart, thank you for supporting Micro Rainbow International in 2015. Our work wouldn't be the same or possible without you. We wish you a Happy New Year! With your help, we look forward to changing more LGBTI lives in 2016. In solidarity, Sebastian Rocca Founder and...

Read More



Our local partners are:


MRI’s financial partner in Cambodia:


This project is supported by:

Give A Damn Foundation

Next Page »Next Page »