UNA-NY presents
In Honor of Human Rights Day

Co-sponsored with
CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies


The Perfect Storm:
Closing Space for LGBT Civil Society in Kenya,
Indonesia, Hungary and Kyrgyzstan

Visiting Scholar
Center for Human Rights and Global Justice

Monday, December 12, 2016

5:30 to 6:00 p.m. | Registration
6:00 to 7:15 p.m. | Program
7:15 to 8:00 p.m. | Reception

CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
Skylight Room, 9th Floor
New York, New York



UNA Members: FREE
UNA Student Members: FREE
Guests and Non-Members: $15

While the late 20th century saw a blossoming of civil society organizations, the beginning of the 21st century has been a period of upheaval. In response to both the threat of terrorism and to growing populist pressure for democracy, a rising wave of demagogues have used new laws and tactics to restrict freedom of association and freedom of expression. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations have always faced such barriers, ranging from criminalization of same-sex sexuality, to refusal of the right to register organizations or hold public events, to the shutdown of websites.

In recent years, some countries have also ratified new laws that explicitly prohibit groups engaged in "LGBT propaganda." In other countries, politicians have mobilized resurgent nationalism by publicly scapegoating LGBT groups as representing "foreign values." These overlapping trends have created a "perfect storm" for LGBT civil society organizations caught in simultaneous waves of political pressure.

This evening's presentation draws on a recent report for Global Philanthropy Project which examines how these forces are affecting LGBT groups in four countries that represent diverse geographic regions: Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Hungary, and Kenya. The report also highlights these groups' resilience, and how many have found ways to survive and thrive in restrictive and often threatening environments.

Dowmload The Perfect Storm report


Sara L.M. Davis (known as Meg) is a visiting scholar with CHRGJ (Center for Human Rights and Global Justice). Her research focuses on global health aid, measurement of impact of human rights on health, and health and human rights in Asia. She was the first senior human rights advisor at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. At the Global Fund, she led the process of establishing minimum human rights standards for grant agreements in 140 countries that receive Global Fund support; launched a human rights complaints procedure at the Global Fund Office of the Inspector General; and published and implemented grant guidance on funding human rights programs as part of Global Fund HIV, TB, malaria and Health System Strengthening grants.

As a long-time human rights practitioner, Meg has worked with dozens of community-based organizations and networks in Asia and Africa on community-led human rights documentation, advocacy, strategic planning and organizational management. She was the China researcher at Human Rights Watch, where she authored four human rights reports, and then founded human rights group Asia Catalyst, where she is now a member of the board. She is also a member of the advisory committee for China Development Brief.

Meg earned her Ph.D. at University of Pennsylvania, and has continued active engagement in scholarship through research and visiting scholar positions at Yale University, UCLA, Columbia University, and Fordham Law School. She now consults for UNAIDS, the International Network of People Using Drugs (INPUD), Open Society Foundations, and African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), among others. She is fluent in Chinese, and also speaks French, Thai, and Tai Lue.

She has a blog and posts on Twitter @saralmdavis.


Note for New and Renewing UNA Members:
As processing time may vary for new memberships, new or renewing UNA members signing up for events should be sure to bring a payment transaction receipt when attending for validation.

NOTE: Only UNA-NY Members have guaranteed seating to all our lecture events, and attend for free or pay the discounted Members' admission, while Student Members attend all events for free. Non-Members must purchase tickets in advance to guarantee their seats. While we do offer a pay-at-the-door policy for guests and non-members, our events are often sold-out, so we strongly encourage membership with UNA-NY to guarantee your seats! Why not take advantage?