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CSBR & IWE facilitate Asia Region Workshop on Holistic Security for LGBTIQ Defenders

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Building on CSBR’s regional program CARE in 2018, our Coordinator Rima Athar and Lin Chew (Institute for Women’s Empowerment) facilitated a 4-day workshop on Holistic Security for LGBTI Human Rights Defenders in Asia, organized by ILGA World as part of the ProtectDefenders.EU mechanism.


The workshop took place from 26-29 August 2019 and brought together 18 activists from 13 countries: India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

Participants represented diverse organizations working with focus areas ranging from sex workers rights, sexual and reproductive health rights, interfaith & faith-based advocacy, feminist movement building, digital rights, trans rights, legal justice, mental health support and counselling, and more.

Through 4 days of interdisciplinary methods, activists explored psychosocial and bodily well-being, as well as strategies and best practices to build resilience and strengthen their organizing at home. Along with the bonds of solidarity that were built amongst participants, at the close of the workshop, each person left with concrete steps they would take to address key holistic security needs on both a personal level, as well as in their organizations back home.

A couple of reflections from participants:

“I really had a wonderful time experiencing a training related to our self care, security and our well-being. All the dynamics of well-being, including the physical, mental, sexual, economical, emotional, relational and spiritual. Exploring and understanding more about ourselves and our energy. Acknowledging our privileges and our needs as individuals, groups, organizations and more. I am so grateful.” (Jordan)

“Spent this week in Seoul with a group of amazing queer rights activists, focusing on holistic security training. As always, with activist spaces, there’s a certain love, warmth and a sense of having known each other forever that is unmatched with any other experience. Thank you for this. I spent the past few months spiralling and crashing towards a burnout. This training helped me reconnect with myself, understand the trauma that I have lived through, and has helped me deal with the fact that sometimes a perfect balance is unachievable. Incredibly grateful for this opportunity to be able to pause, learn and refocus.” (India)


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