IOM AND SALVADORAN LGBTI COMMUNITY DISCUSS PROTECTION STRATEGIES
IOM held in San Salvador a workshop on the risks that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people (LGBTI) face when migrating irregularly, with special emphasis on the vulnerability to human trafficking that this population has. In the workshop, the main strategies for protection and assistance to the migrant LGBTI population were analysed.
The workshop was attended by over 20 representatives of organizations that make up the LGBTI Coordinating Board, as well as by independent LGBTI activists around the country. The meeting was co-facilitated by the Salvadoran Department of Migration (DGME), the Ombudsman for the Defence of Human Rights (PDDH), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and IOM. Similarly, the event was supported by representatives of the LGBTI Coordinating Board that had previously participated in a Training of Trainers workshop, held in Tapachula (Mexico).
"One of the commitments taken in Tapachula, in order to attend the workshop, was to replicate the knowledge acquired and we, as an organization, want to fulfil that commitment. But we want to go further and accompany our comrades in their search for better opportunities”, said the representative of the Lesbian Association of El Salvador (ALES LAVINIA), and co-facilitator of the workshop, Elvira Hernandez.
The meeting helped to promote reflection on migration processes, sexual and identity diversity, myths and realities of migrants, the conceptualization of vulnerable migrant populations, and migration of LGBTI people in Mesoamerica and Human Rights, among others.
"The migration of LGBTI people in our region, in terms of Human Rights, extremely complex. These spaces allow compiling migratory experiences that these populations have lived and to identify the elements that characterize the specificity of their mobility”, explained IOM’s Mesoamerica Program Coordinator for El Salvador, Cecilia Ramirez.
The Mesoamerica Program, under which this activity was developed, is implemented by IOM with funding from the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the US Department of State. The Mesoamerica Program seeks to strengthen the capacities of governments and communities in the region to protect and assist migrants in vulnerable situations.