Transgender sex workers educating policemen to avoid violence

Published: August 1, 2008

Transgender sex workers educating policemen to avoid violence

Issues: A community research held during 2005 allowed to gather evidence of the high level of physical violence and extortion; including sexual violence coming from policemen towards transgender sex workers. Besides, prevention programs with this vulnerable population were zero. As a response, education to the transgender community and policemen was implemented, reinforced with lobbying strategies.

Description: A team including transgender people and human rights professional was formed so as to contribute to a culture of respect and to recover the right to have personal security. Trainings for policemen and transgender community were designed. Previously, the support from the local AIDS program and commitment from authorities was achieved so as to train their police staff. Between 2006 and 2007 several workshops were organized and performed by transgender people reaching 150 transgender sex workers and 905 policemen. A human rights leaflet was designed and approved; skills to face violent situations were strengthened. In order to enhance the educative strategy, mass media sensitization was done. Two agreements were signed: one with police authorities so as to promote respect to this population and the second one with the human rights commission to provide complaints’ follow-up. Regarding monitoring, transgender girls reported having a better relation with policemen and being more confident to protect themselves.

Lessons learned: The participation of transgender girls in educative activities, using their life-story during the training and including roll-play participation methodologies are efficient strategies used with public officers such as policemen.

Next steps: Violence towards transgender people, including sexual violence, should be eradicated; therefore, it is necessary to share and reply the experience in other areas of the country

-Abstract available at link below-

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