UN Trans Advocacy Week
UN Trans Advocacy Week is an annual week-long transgender advocacy conference that takes place at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The first UN Trans Advocacy Week was held in 2017 and was organized as a joint initiative of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE); the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA); the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL), and Transgender Europe (TGEU). Sixteen trans and gender diverse activists from 15 countries participated. The Advocacy Week was created after trans activists’ participated in the Public Consultation called by the UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) in January 2017.
One of the week's events was a panel moderated by Julia Ehrt titled "Transgender People, Mental Health, and Human Rights." Its presenters included Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn and Dr. Dainius Pūras, the Special Rapporteur on Health. Other presenters included Viviane Vergueiro and Mauro Cabral Grinspan.
The second annual UN Trans Advocacy Week was led by 23 trans and gender diverse human rights defenders from 19 countries. Its programming included an "open consultation on legal gender recognition and depathologization with the Independent Expert on SOGI," a UN Research Institute for Social Development panel, and sub-events including one on mainstreaming gender identity and expression in feminist and gender equality work and one titled “The Yogyakarta Principles +10 and the Protection of the Rights of Transgender People.” One of its featured speakers was Dr. Brenda Alegre, Trans Secretariat of ILGA and board member of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines.
The 2019 UN Trans Advocacy Week took place from June 24 through July 12, 2019. Part of its focus was "clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Health and the Special Rapporteur on Leprosy." There was also a focus on the "concern for mental health care used as weapon in the form of forced institutionalization and treatment against trans and gender diverse people 'as affirmed by the World Health Organization, our gender identities and expressions aren't pathologies to be treated but healthy manifestations of human diversity.'" Furthermore, there was a panel discussion on women’s rights and climate change called "Climate Action, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned," and a sub-event surrounding the potential renewal of the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IE SOGI) mandate, organized by the Asia Pacific Transgender Network; Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE); ILGA World; the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer Rights; and Transgender Europe, and moderated by ILGA World Co-Secretary General Tuisina Ymania Brown of the Pacific Human Rights Initiative.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, UN Trans Advocacy Week is slated to take place virtually. Participants will include the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association; the Asia Pacific Trans Network; GATE; Transgender Europe and at least one other organization.
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