The Swedish embassy in Vietnam has pledged financial support for a new campaign aimed at reducing violence against lesbian women and promoting human rights for sexual minorities.

The Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Women and Adolescents will receive SEK 2.7 million (£223,000) for the project.

Earlier this week an agreement was signed between the Centre and the Swedish embassy’s development cooperation section head, Marie Ottosson.

Homosexuality is legal in Vietnam but same-sex marriages are banned and there are no legal protections against discrimination.

“In line with the Swedish Government’s policy, which was adopted recently, this is a project aimed at promoting the human rights in Vietnam with a special focus on the rights of the lesbian, gay, bi and trans persons (LGBT) and in particular the rights of the lesbians,” the embassy said.

“The project will also focus on male behaviours in the combat against domestic violence.

“This support will also aim at strengthening the work and building capacity within the organisation, which will lead to a strong voice in the emerging civil society in Vietnam. The proposed activities foresee cooperation with Swedish experts and NGOs.”

The project aims to create a safe environment and the acceptance of society for lesbians’ existence in Vietnam as well as improve men’s attention and participation in preventing domestic violence.

Ms Ottosson said:

“By supporting the project, Sweden is contributing to the capacity building of the civil society and promoting the values of human rights in Vietnam. The support also ensures the translation of vulnerable people’s needs into rights and we are proud to take part in this pioneer work.”