Speakers call for proactive role of transgender community in relief efforts in post-flood scenario

Islamabad : Speakers at provincial consultation workshop here Tuesday underlined the need for an all-inclusive response of the transgender community during relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts to help minimize suffering of flood victims during the post-flood era.
These views were expressed by different speakers during a multi-stakeholders provincial consultation on ‘developing action plan for transgender inclusive flood response” organized jointly by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), Peace and Justice Network (PJN) and USAID.
Besides others, the event was addressed by members provincial assembly, Ayesha Bannu and Aasia Khattak, Commissioner NCHR Tariq Javed, Director General Human Rights Department KP Dr Saeed Khan, Provincial Ombudsman Rakhshinda Bano, Sadiq Khan of Provincial Disasters Management Authority KP, technical expert PJM Nayab Ali, Social Welfare Officer Mehnaz and provincial president transgender community Farzana.
The speakers said trans persons was important segment of the society and their proactive role in mobilization of public in flood affected areas for speedy implementation of the relief and rehabilitation programs carried immense importance.
Provincial President transgender community, Farzana assured full support and assistance of trans persons to the government and others relevant line organizations during flood mitigation programs.
Farzana said the devastations caused by the last year flood were huge and all segment of the society need to work together by accelerating relief efforts and extended full support to the government for a inclusive flood response mechanism as hundreds of thousands of flood victims were still looking for our help and assistance in Pakistan.

Director General, Humans Rights Department KP, Dr Saeed Khan said deputy commissioners of all 35 districts of KP were assigned special powers of human rights officers with the authority to dispose of all human rights related applications within 30 days in their respective domains.

He said efforts were being made to include representatives of vulnerable segments of the society including persons with disabilities, minorities, trans and under privileged in district human rights committees to address their issues on the spot.

Sadiq Khan of PDMA said that MoUs were signed with different universities of KP for conducting research on disaster management and better humanitarians’ response to help overcome damages caused by natural calamities.

He said a one year diploma on ‘disasters management and comprehensive humanitarian response’ would be soon started in Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan. He said Pakistan Transgender Rights Act 2018 has been promulgated to counter all kinds of violence and harassment against transgender community. Social welfare officer, Mehnaz said that work on transgender policy was underway with an effort to provide special quota in recruitment in socioeconomic departments and would soon be forwarded to the government for approval.

To enjoy the government’s facilities, she said the transgender need to register themselves with the relevant government organizations.

The speakers underlined the need for formulation of a comprehensive statistical data about the number of transgender community in KP that would immensely help government organizations in compilation of future plans of actions and strategies.

Nayab Ali of PJN said the objectives of the consultation workshop were aimed at bringing all relevant stakeholders including government agencies, human rights experts, transgender and policymakers to identify gaps in the existing laws and frameworks used for humanitarians’ actions, especially during recent floods.

She said the event was organized to highlight various issues and challenges besides giving viable recommendations for ensuring inclusion of trans persons in disaster management and relief programs in the post flood era.

Besides reviewing existing humanitarians’ response actions and operational guidelines, he said the workshop would help support data collection and to establish transgender community’s protection mechanism in flood affected districts besides ensuring their inclusion in district committees.

She said the key outcome of consultation was development of the provincial action plan for transgender inclusion in flood relief programs besides establishment of speedy humanitarians’ response mechanism.

Members of the civil society, trans persons, government officials, human rights activists and officials of the social welfare department and ombudsman office attended in large numbers. Later question-answer and working group sessions were held.