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“Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO conducted a four-day training course with the aim of increasing the awareness level of Transgender people in the field of human rights protection in Armenia on July 20-24, 2020. Eighteen young Transgender activists aged 18-30 and fighting for Transgender LGBIQ+ and sex workers’ human rights protection in Armenia took part in the training course. The aim of the training course was to empower and develop young Transgender activists’ capacity in the field of human rights and advocacy by contributing to the security, awareness and wellbeing of them.
At the beginning of the training course, Lilit Martirosyan, the President of “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO, made an opening speech, then she emphasized the importance of education among Transgender youth and thanked all the participants for their involvement. Lilit presented the human rights protection and social activities of the organization between Transgender LGBIQ+ and sex worker community. During her opening speech she referred to all the participants by mentioning that she encouraged the activist activity of each
participant, adding that raising the legal awareness of each participant was vital in the process of forming a developed and law-abiding society in Armenia. After Lilit Martirosyan’s opening speech, all the participants were acquainted with one another, and then set the rules that should be followed throughout the training course. After the acquaintance, the participants spoke about their expectations and fears. All that was followed by an active discussion of the participants with an expert on fundamental human rights and freedoms, cooperation, resource retrieval, discrimination and its protected grounds. Particular attention was paid to the protected grounds of discrimination that were common for Transgender LGBTQ+ and sex worker community in Armenia. At the end of the first part of the training, the participants discussed and presented the knowledge they had acquired through interactive approaches.
The topics of advocacy and educational campaigns were discussed during the training course; within the framework of which the participants were introduced to advocacy, its levels, methods of implementation and organization of campaigns and other related concepts. The experts talked about how to use social advertising in campaigns, how to involve supportive human resources to advocate for the rights of Transgender LGBTQ+ and sex worker community and how to raise human rights violations. Taking into account the participants’ interest in the topics, the day passed with substantive discussions.
Then a discussion was held on the mobilization of the Transgender LGBTQ+ and sex worker communities, with the active involvement of the participants. The experts presented how to involve community initiatives, specialists and other groups in advocacy processes. The questions of the participants on the topics received comprehensive answers.
During the training, the participants had active discussions with the experts on the assessment of threats and risks in families through practical and team assignments. The experts shared several methods, the active use of which can create an atmosphere of solidarity in the family. The participants gained knowledge on how to deal with threats, and how to avoid violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. They discussed how family members could be involved in Transgender LGBTQ+ and sex worker rights movements.
Then, the presentation of personal stories of Transgender LGBTQ+ and sex workers followed. The participants spoke about the difficulties they had encountered during their lives. Everyone shared their own story and were acquainted with others’ stories. During frank conversation, the participants told about a number of cases of violence, discrimination, hate speech and threats against them. Then, speaking about self-protection, young Transgender activists emphasized the importance of consolidation and the strengthening of the Transgender community. The conversation was so inspiring, that the young Transgender LGBTQ+ and sex worker activists once again purposefully united their ideas in the struggle for the protection of human rights.
At the end of the training course, Lilit Martirosyan, the President of the “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO, expressed her gratitude to the young Transgender activists, then handed over the certificates and encouraged young Transgender LGBTQ+ and sex workers’ participation in the process of protection of rights and building a prosperous future. She noted the importance of the role and contribution of each Transgender activist in the formation of a struggling, informed young generation and in the transformation of Armenia into a country of rights.
The young Transgender activists expressed a desire to talk about the topics, format, organization of the training, as well as of their feelings that they had during the training.
Quotes from the participants:
“When participants were presenting their difficulties that they had encountered during their lives, I was convinced again that I had to fight for Transgender people’ human rights. During this training course I have achieved new skills to continue fighting for human rights” – Transgender man, activist.
“The format of the training course was very effective and the meeting was very active. Everything was wonderful, especially the approach from the stuff to participants. We have had a lot of unforgettable memories which I am taking with me” – Transgender woman, activist.
“I am very glad for participating this training course because of the high level of organization. Thanks for ensuring interactive, instructive and wonderful time” – transgender activist.
“Everything was organized very well. I think the organizing team have not had any shortcoming. Speaking about the hotel and the food I don’t have any remarks as I understand the pandemic situation in the country” – Transgender activist.
“Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO expresses its deep gratitude to the donor organization for their trust, financial and multilateral support.
#EYFCOE #RightSideNGO #LounderforTransYouth #TransGenderArmenia
Oct 20, 2020 Armenia, Yerevan