Advocacy strategic workshop with sexual minorities
By Mbabazi Busingye | Project coordinator
Human Rights first Rwanda Association held a workshop with members of the LGBTQ community
The members present were reminded of the importance of Collecting information and documenting evidence of human rights violations against the LGBTQ persons so at give credibility to advocacy and policy-oriented campaign.
Among also other issues discussed is the need to organize round table meetings with various people of influence including parliamentarians, religious leaders and also to try and forge a Woking relationship with the Human Rights commission.
Significantly it was mentioned that now that some influential religious members had come out to reveal their sexual orientation this should be a positive move to propel the advocacy agenda.
Further It was discussed that when considering LGBTQ issues, the roundtable meetings will be guided by principles,including:
The equal treatment by the law and governmentof LGBTQ people and religious freedoms
The need to protect the rights of all people at vulnerable stages of their life.
HRFRA will maintain an on-going dialogue with the LGBTQ representatives to identify how to appropriately promote their rights and to advocate for the LGBTQ people to be treated equallyunder the lawand by government.
Human Rights First Rwanda Association organized a series of seminar’s with transgender persons. The training centred on the importance of role modelling the use of non-discriminatory language and behaviour, builds knowledge on LGBTIQ+ inclusive policies, state legislation and facilitating a safe space where Rwanda Gender Pride could seek support, information and referral. Sexual Minorities often face harassment, detention, torture, defamation, suspension from their employment, denial of freedom of movement, freedom of association and difficulty in obtaining legal recognition for their associations. In some countries they are killed, abducted or & disappear. These c hallenges require Sexual minorities to adopt comprehensive and dynamic security strategies in their day- to- day work, adopting well-meant advice or recommending that they “take care” is not enough. The trainings were designed to offer tailor-made solutions ready to be applied to any scenario. The seminars did try to provide a set of strategies aimed at improving LGBTI/Q’s security management.
The seminars did raise the level of the Transgender community awareness on the importance of personal security and that the main risk for sexual minorities is that threats often materialize into actual attacks. Aggressors have the will, the means and the impunity to put
Advocating for better services for sexual minorities
By Mbabazi Busingye | Project Leader
Globally, gay men and other men who have sex with men are 24 times more likely to acquire HIV than adults in the general population. Stigma, discrimination, violence and the criminalization of same-sex sexual practices makes it more difficult for these men to access HIV prevention, testing and treatment services.
Human Rights First Rwanda Association has for the last three months been undertaking an evidence-informed advocacy in bringing these issues to the lime light and showing the impact that human rights violations can have on HIV responses, especially on services targeting key populations
Although there is still a lot of silence around issues surrounding sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, there is hope that in the near future a greater pool of sexual minority communities will be standing up for their rights and demanding access to services and a rights-based approach to service delivery..
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