National transgender programme launched in flood-affected areas

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Zubair Qureshi

The first-ever National Transgender Fellowship Programme has been launched for the transgender community in 33 flood-affected districts,.

The programme, the first-ever in Pakistan, aims at empowering and mainstreaming the transgender community and to ensure their inclusion in flood relief and response.

The programme is exclusively for inclusive humanitarian response, a three-month fellowship programme.

This programme will help in establishing district transgender protection and an inclusive humanitarian response system by enabling transgender fellows after comprehensive training to play a proactive and leading role during disasters as well as to equip them so that they can effectively coordinate with government and humanitarian organizations to address the needs of the transgender community.

Under this programme, the Peace and Justice Network (PJN) and National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) will enhance the capacity and skills of the transgender community in humanitarian disaster relief response, inclusion, flood relief efforts, and protection through residential training and also through three months of district engagement of the selected Transgender Fellows.

The fellowship is part of a national programme that PJN is implementing in all four provinces and federal level “Bridging the Barriers – Inclusion of Transgender Community in Flood Relief and Response” in collaboration with NCHR with the support of the Concern Worldwide and USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).

The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) is an independent statutory body created to look into matters pertaining to all forms of violations of human rights within the territorial jurisdiction of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan by virtue of the National Commission of Human Rights Act of 2012 headed by Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha.

According to Syed Raza Ali, PJN’s CEO and the Convener National Transgender Taskforce on Floods Relief & Response, the commission is working for the empowerment of the most vulnerable communities and part of its mission is to support the development of a disaster relief approach that addresses the impact borne by vulnerable groups such as the transgender community in the aftermath of natural disasters.