NATION

LGBTIQ+ Community Claims Disaster Plan Exclusion

People of the LGBTIQ+ commu­nity are excluded from evacu­ation plans during natural disasters in Fiji, a study reveals. Amasai Jeke of Rainbow Pride Foundation said it was their job to
21 Nov 2018 11:04
LGBTIQ+ Community Claims Disaster Plan Exclusion
From left at the Lotus Building at SPC in Nabua, Suva, on October 20, 2018: Nicco Naituku (reigning Miss Adi Senikau), Shivmast Bhagirathi Bhan (University of the South Pacific), Wendy, Amasai Jeke (Rainbow Pride) and Isikeli Vulavou Executive Director/Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network (PSGDN) and Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF) commemorating a minute of silence for all Transgender people who lost their lives. Photo: Sheenam Chandra

People of the LGBTIQ+ commu­nity are excluded from evacu­ation plans during natural disasters in Fiji, a study reveals.

Amasai Jeke of Rainbow Pride Foundation said it was their job to see whether evacuation centres were going to be safe for members of their community.

Amasai was part of a discussion panel to talk on “Transgender Day of Remembrance” at Lotus Build­ing at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Nabua, Suva, yesterday.

“Especially for the LGBTIQ+ peo­ple because from our research that was done after Tropical Cyclone Winston, we found out that our LG­BTIQ+ members were continuously left behind during humanitarian crisis,” said Amasai.

“This is when we needed to help as human beings to carry out and to see that a few transgender women were scared to access the evacuation centres because they were told they could don’t stay with other women and they were not allowed to stay with men as well.

“So the trans women stayed in toi­lets and could not access evacuation centres.”

Amasai added that a group of lesbi­an women were also discriminated in evacuation centers.

“We want for humanitarian sys­tems to be more inclusive and to have the LGBT community to be part of the policy process,” said Amasai.

“So that one can adhere how the policy can be more inclusive of the LGBTIQ+ community in terms of post-disaster.

“In addition, we want to highlight how transgender women who are also going through hormone thera­py, how does hormonal therapy look like post disaster and how services can actually help them.”

Amasai has called on for members of the community and LGBTIQ+ supporters to influencing policies.

“We have further pushed recogni­tion of 2013 Fijian Constitution on Section 26 of the LGBTIQ+ people to be implemented throughout the Government ministries and also within policies.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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