In the true spirit of citizenry participation Human Rights First Rwanda Association endeavoured to engage the general public on Sexual Minority Rights in Rwanda and the Great Lakes at Large.
Members from all walks of life underwent both formal and informal sessions of interaction where opinions were shared on how to effectively promote LGBTI right in our region.Some key elements that came to light were the need to focus on the basics orous which elude the common man in regard to LGBTI inclusivity.Awareness schemes which are already in place which include brochures and manuals can only be complimented by vigorous outreach activities aimed at promoting LGBTI Rights.
Amongst the people we interacted with included Development Partners,Fellow Civil Society Organizations and Right Defenders, LGBTI community in Rwanda and the gret lakes and the general public at large.All who have a stake in eradicating the stigma that still exists within the society.
One major challenge that advocacy on Sexual Minority Rights has always had is the lack of awareness of Sexual Minority Rights amongst the general public, the aftereffect of which is the stigma and discrimination being faced by LGBTI’s in Rwanda.
As a mitigating factor to this challenge that has stood out for some time Human Rights First Rwanda Association undertook to design and prepare LGBTI brochures that would be disseminated to multiple stakeholders who include Human Rights Defenders, Legislators, Lawyers, Church Community folk as well as the Sexual Minority groups themselves.
These brochures which are designed in user friendly wording and imagery elaborate the need to respect Sexual Minority Rights from all members of the public from all fields of life and the respective roles they may all play in advocating and lobbying for LGBTI rights and freedoms.
The reception of these materials by the public was nothing short of astounding as the populace seem to be more enlightened on sexual minority rights and the wonderful momentum created through the education as an advocacy tool.
We continue to appreciate the kindness of our donors and contributors and invite them to play a participatory role in ensuring that we kick away the societal stigma that exists for LGBTI’s in Rwanda and the great lakes region at large, by offering suggestions and ideas on how to create an impact through this project that would be felt for generations to come having the ultimate result of having sexual minority rights upheld in totality.
Given the fact that they is less literature and information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights
Human Rights First Rwanda Association has started compiling literature which will be inform of a booklet and brochure that will be distrubuted to various people who include Police officers, Judges, Local authorities, Medical Fratenity, Lawyers Media and the Primary benefeciries the LGBTI Community.
The booklet contents will contain International recognised rights that protect sexual minorities from discrimination, harassment , violence and Intimidation.
It will touch on the right of sexual minorities to equal employment,Right to health and other services, Right to assembly and association,Freedom of expression among other things.
Some examples as case studies will also be highlighted in the contents of the booklet.
The booklet is being compiled and written by Human Rights lawyers with the help of a small group of sexual minorities who face daily problems due to their sexual orientation and who capture well the ordeals they face on a day to day basis which should be highlighted in the booklet and brochure.
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