The International Seminar on “Public Policies for Trans People in Brazil and the European Union” brought together Brazilian, European and Canadian experts on 18 and 19 June in São Paulo to share their experience regarding good practices and challenges for providing transgender people with equal access to public services.
Portuguese expert Sandra Saleiro, an expert hired by the Sector Dialogues Facility, gave an overview of the public policies aimed at trans people in EU countries. She also presented some success stories in some of these countries, such as the gender identity legislation in Malta, the Scottish prison system, the health care service in the United Kingdom, and the project to train transgender people for the job market in Madrid, Spain.
These and other successful experiences were addressed more deeply thanks to the participation of transgender activist Mar Cambrollé, president of the Trans Federation of Spain. After years of working for the LGBTI cause, in 2007, Mar decided to devote her life to trans activism, believing that "transsexuals and transvestites are the most vulnerable and the least supported group by public policies."
In turn, Brazilian anthropologist expert, Elisiane Pasine, also hired by the Sector Dialogues, was responsible for reviewing the situation of public policies for trans people in Brazil. She brought light to good practices in different Brazilian states, such as the TransEnem project in Porto Alegre (RS), the TT Outpatient Care in Belém (PA) and the Transcitizen Program in São Paulo (SP), as well as other initiatives related to gender identity.
According to Elisiane, Brazil has excellent examples of good practices when it comes to transgender inclusion, but these are usually local projects by state and city administrations or just by civil society organizations. "The biggest challenge is to develop public policies at the national level, as a National policy, so that they can be enforced regardless of government officials," she said.
This international seminar is part of a project under the EU-Brazil Sector Dialogues. Marina Reidel, director for the Promotion of LGBTI Rights at the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights, stressed the importance of having the Facility support Brazil in taking steps forward to formulate public policies for transgender people.
"Participating in the mission to Europe was crucial to have a closer look at how some national policies for transsexuals and transvestites are implemented in EU countries. This two-day seminar consolidates all the good practices that we identified in Europe and Brazil, and sets out clear guidelines for the next steps. I believe that now the project should be broken down into areas and addressed separately, so that we can push for public policy proposals for transgender people in Brazil. "
The opening ceremony of the seminar, hold on Tuesday afternoon (18), was attended by Alexandre Magno Fernandes Moreira, National Secretary for Global Protection, Deputy at the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights; Paulo Dimas Debellis Marcarette, Secretary of Justice and Citizenship of the Government of São Paulo; Sandra Lia Simón, Deputy Labor Prosecutor and Coordinator of the LGBTI Working Group of the National Coordinating Body for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities and Elimination of Discrimination at Work of the Labor Prosecution Service; Berenice Gianella, Secretary of Human Rights of the Municipality of São Paulo; Marina Reidel, chair of the National Council for Combating LGBT Discrimination; Costanzo Fisogni, attaché and project manager of the European Union Delegation in Brazil; Nathalie Beaudoin, vice consul and Head of Political, Economic and Public Affairs Section at the Consulate General of Canada; Lua Stabile, representative of UN Brazil; and Cláudia Garcia, president of the Pride Parade Association of São Paulo.
During the event, trans singer Valeria Houston sang the national anthems of Brazil and the European Union, and also performed some Brazilian Popular Music songs.
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