The Peace and Justice Network (PJN), in collaboration with the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), USAID/BHA, and Concern Worldwide, organized a three-day residential training program for transgender fellows on leadership and protection.
The training programme aimed to build the capacity of trans community leaders to enhance their knowledge of flood disaster response, protection, governance mechanisms, the role of humanitarian organizations, and the inclusion of marginalized communities. These 33 individuals come under the transgender fellowship program of the project.
The training included 17 sessions, focusing on understanding gender identity and gender non-conforming terms, understanding basic concepts of disaster, relief, and response, the challenges faced by transgender individuals in disaster situations, social media use for activism and the importance of transgender inclusion in disaster relief and response.
The fellows also had exposure visits to the NCHR where they were able to learn more about their mandate & authority, and then the Islamabad Police KhidmatMarkaz, F-6, which is home to the Transgender Protection Unit, a police unit solely dedicated to handling transgender crimes, headed by Nayyab Ali. AbiaAkram, renowned disability activist, facilitated a session on viewing disaster relief through an intersectional lens, such as for disabled people and helped participants become further sensitized.
The concluding remarks were given by ManzoorMasih, Member Minorities, NCHR, who reiterated the government’s commitment to providing equal rights to marginalized segments of society, especially the transgender community.
“During natural disasters, the marginalization and exclusion of transgender people in Pakistan became even more severe. The lack of information contributes greatly to this, NCHR alongside PJN are committed to filling this gap,” he said.
At the end of the first day of training, it was acknowledged that the lack of attention given to the transgender community in humanitarian response highlighted the necessity for particular policies and operational guidelines that guarantee fair access to assistance, aid, and protection for trans individuals.
Furthermore, the conference emphasized the significance of policy reforms and collaborations between public and private entities to safeguard and defend the transgender community during floods and disasters.
“This has been an opportunity to engage with the transgender community from all over Pakistan that belong to the worst-hit regions due to the super floods, and to address the challenges faced by transgender people during natural disasters,” said Nayyab Ali, the National Technical Program Specialist upon the closing.
The event was conducted as part of the project Bridging the Barriers – Inclusion of Transgender Community in Flood Relief and Response. Expert trainers conducted the training to develop and improve the participants skill sets, outlining the activities and coordination these fellows are supposed to undertake in their respective districts.