We, in collaboration with UNAIDS, National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) and its provincial counterparts as well as relevant provincial rights-based institutions, are conducting a series of Training of Trainers (TOTs) on ‘Ending Transphobic Stigma & Discrimination in Prevention & Response to HIV/AIDS’ across Pakistan.

The recent one was held in Lahore earlier this month which included participants from relevant rights-based line departments, civil society, trans-activists and thematic experts as Master Trainers. The training will help them to address transphobic stigma and discrimination within their respective spheres of influence and society.

The workshop was conducted in collaboration with the Human Rights & Minorities Affairs Department, Government of Punjab. Secretary, Mr. Tariq Mahmood, and Honourable Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs, Mr. Ejaz Alam Augustine also attended the training to show their support.

The TOT involved interactive sessions led by thematic experts on social inclusion, from within UNDP and trans-activists, such as Ms. Nayyab Ali who has been involved in consultations for the development of the draft bill on transgender rights – now the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights Act) 2018 – since the past three years. Meanwhile, Ms. Bubli Malik, a prominent and renowned trans-activist in Punjab led a session on innovative approaches on engagement with the transgender community in resolving rights-based issues, access to health care as well as awareness raising on HIV/AIDS.

The provincial round of TOTs will also feed into the implementation process of the 2018 Act which is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR). UNDP Pakistan is providing technical assistance in the drafting of rules for the Act itself as well as development of TORs for the Implementation Committee of the 2018 Act. In addition, UNDP, with the support of its partners, is in the process of developing a National Strategy on Stigma and Discrimination against Transgender Persons in Health care and Social Protection Settings.

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