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

Lahore : Speakers at provincial consultation workshop 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 here at a local hotel.

Besides others, the event was addressed by Member NCHR Punjab Nadeem Ashraf, Dr. Faisal Saleem from Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Ms.Rizwana Naveed Additional Secretary from department of Human Rights and Minority Affairs, technical expert PJN Nayab Ali, moon Ali coordinator and other participants.

The speakers emphasized that trans persons are an 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.

Ms. Zanaya chaudhary  , a trans activist, assured full support and assistance of trans persons to the government and others relevant line organizations during flood mitigation programs.

Zanaya 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.

Additional Secretary Ms. Rizwana Naveed ministry of human rights and minority affairs informed the gathering that implementation will be ensured of transgender act will be ensured and provincil legislation will be introduced as soon as new government is formed.

She 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.

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 Punjab that would immensely help government organizations in compilation of future plans of actions and strategies.

Nayab Ali National Technical program specialist 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.