ReachLaw: The work with LGBTiQ+ Community
ReachLaw has a two-decade experience in working closely with several NGOs on LGBTiQ+ rights issues. Strong commitment to improve the respect and quality of life for the street-based sex workers such as Koti, Double-decker, and Hijra. After creating a lot of awareness among the literate gay and lesbian community, the team started focusing on the needs of the unlettered, non-English speaking groups.
It was predominantly an untouched area but together with Sangama, Reachaw built an extraordinary experience in working for the needs of this community.
ReachLaw lawyers transformed the community from being invisible to visible and enabled them as contributing members of the society. Helped the community to come out of the shy/closet to be more open. Broke the apologetic feeling of one’s own sexuality to taking pride.
ReachLaw empowered the community to not only take on the system but also engage with the system. Conducted several training sessions for judges, police officers to sensitise the issues of the community and build a broad consensus among all the stakeholders. Worked with governmental and non-governmental organizations in the core areas of AIDS awareness, prevention of HIV infections, etc.
Played a vital role in empowering the community to go mainstream and take up other social issues such as Bababudangiri Dharga, Issues of Farmers, Workers Rights, Women Issues, Human Rights, and issues related to the minority community. Conducted a phenomenal amount of training to address the challenges and improve understanding of the issues to the police and the administrative system. Now the community is able to negotiate with the system.
Taught the community about various tools to effectively handle the police department for rights-based issues. Crisis-intervention is another core area of ReachLaw in which the team has empowered and continue to empower the community with litigation and non-litigation advisory support. Provide them space for expression across different cross-sections of the community and be a pillar of support whenever there’s a legal issue.
Together with Sangama, an NGO focused on the LGBTQ community, ReachLaw played a part in creating numerous forums for the community and equip them with resources based on community-based organizations. Provide funding and other support to employ a number of people, strengthen the process and make the community stronger to be able to handle the rights-based issues themselves.
ReachLaw is now focused on fulfilling more pressing needs of the community such as livelihood issues, educational opportunities, vocational training, new employment models, etc. And equip the community to deal with the relationship issues by partners after 3rd gender judgment and 377 order. ReachLaw is working with the community to define same-sex relationships. Secondly, provide moral, legal and training support for the larger sex workers union which comprises of LGBTQ+ and the women.
Sex work should not be considered as a crime. ReachLaw is committed to working with the community to prevent police harassment, physical violence and abuse from the goondas as well. In addition, strive to push for judicial reforms. Resolve issues related to the police raids, tackle forced shelter homes, and build a safe atmosphere within the society.
ReachLaw is open to working with other NGOs to build consensus on the right-based perspectives for the empowerment and provide them with litigation support.