Issues of stigma and discrimination, options of recording of violation of LGBT, MSM and trans* people’s rights to medical services, as well as many other topics, were discussed during a 3-day training conducted on June, 7-9, 2017 in Kvareli, Georgia in the frame of the ECOM project “Together for Our Rights”.
Twenty representatives of NGOs from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine have come together to review detailed plans for implementation of the projects awarded under ECOM small grants facility within the project “Together for Our Rights”, supported by the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund as part of the project “Coordinated, Strategic, and Resolute: MSM and Transgender Networks United”, and to obtain knowledge and skills that will be useful in future.
During the first day of the training the ECOM Secretariat staff detailed the goals and objectives of the project “Together for Our Rights”. The training participants shared their plans for implementation of the approved projects aimed primarily at contributing toward a reduced level of stigma, discrimination, violation of rights of gays and other MSM and trans* people in healthcare, particularly in HIV services, as well as toward increased availability of medical services through cooperation with medical workers, administration and local authorities.
- The purpose of this training was to inform the participants in detail about all stages of project realization, so that they could gain a better understanding of each step: program and financial reporting, monitoring of indicators, information support – says Yuri Yorsky, ECOM Human Rights and Legal Issues Officer. - We also aimed to provide comprehensive information on existing problems that gays, MSM and trans* people face in receiving healthcare, and certainly to introduce representatives of organizations from different countries to each other, which will help strengthen cooperation and provide an opportunity to exchange experience.
The issues of stigma and discrimination have been deeply analyzed during the subsequent training days. The participants were given a chance to act out real-life situations that LGBT community members could face when seeking medical services and to find solutions to such situations through the available options and methods of protection of their rights. The participants also had an opportunity to go through the process of documenting different cases focusing on legal aspects and psychological support to the victims.
- The training was useful for me, as I have gained practical knowledge on documenting and reporting on discrimination cases. I wasn’t familiar with this topic well enough to realize project activity, – pointed out Dmitry Kalinin, an staff member at Zaporizhia Regional Charitable Foundation Gender Z.
- Thanks to qualified trainers, interesting ways of delivering information and practical drills, the ECOM team managed to cover almost all the issues I need in the future,- added Dmitry.
Every practical activity is impossible without a theoretical background, for that reason the participants were presented EECA region training cases for doctors and community representatives, advocacy posters and banners, video clips aimed at overcoming stigma and discrimination. Also the participants were introduced to the particulars of the intersectional approach within the activity of the organizations.
- I enjoyed communication skills and complementarity of the trainers, their skills to see, to listen and to perceive the audience. I obtained the knowledge for my work that will help to strengthen documentary activity, improve intersectional approach within our organization, reporting issues’ study was very useful for me as this is our first cooperation experience with ECOM,- said Farishtamoh Gulova, a participant of the training.
The participants of the project “Cities” Alliance of Public Health working toward increased efficiency of urban HIV prevention programs counterwork HIV infection in 5 countries also was attended at the training.
- Unfortunately, MSM stigma and discrimination in health care institutions are still very common in the region, but we hope that thanks to the people who have gathered here and thanks to the projects they implement, medical workers will become more tolerant and the number of discrimination cases will decrease significantly. Everybody and everyone, whoever he/she is, has the right to respect and the right to health,- underlined the outcome of three days activity Elena German, ECOM Program Director.