The prestigious Clarence H.Moore Award for Voluntary Service was presented at the Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health event. Since 1989 the award has been given each year to recognise and celebrate the public health achievements of NGOs in Latin America and the Caribbean. REDLACTRANS was presented with the award in recognition of its work to advance acceptance and human rights for transgendered people in the region – and making serious headway.
It was accepted on behalf of the Argentina-based organisation by its regional coordinator, Ms. Marcela Romero, who fought for 10 years to be legally recognised as a woman in Argentina.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, as in many other regions in the world, transgender people are frequently threatened emotionally as well as physically. Many are ostracized by their families or receive threats to their life.
REDLACTRANS was formed in 2004 to meet the unique emotional and physical health needs of the transgender population. Today the organisation boasts 95 volunteers and three staff in 18 countries throughout the region.
As a result of the dedicated advocacy efforts of staff and volunteers, the Organization of American States approved a resolution last year. Within the resolution, the countries of the Americas expressed concern about acts of violence and human rights abuses that were committed against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Accepting the award, Marcela said: ‘This award belongs to the entire transgender community. We are working for an inclusive Latin America and Caribbean that offers equal rights for better quality of life.’