The Alliance for Justice and Diversity is a social justice coalition of organisations led by Trinidad and Tobago’s LGBTI+ civil society organisations (CAISO: Sex and Gender Justice, Friends for Life, I Am One, The Silver Lining Foundation, Transgender Coalition of T&T, Women’s Caucus of T&T, and WOMANTRA). In addition to issues related to sexuality and gender identity, these organisations work together to prevent gender-based violence, strengthen school safety, improve policing, and champion protection against discrimination based on age, health conditions, and LGBTI+ status.
AJD’s policy agenda work aims to direct the media and politicians and other national stakeholders’ attention towards issues that are most relevant and important for the national LGBTI+ community. The agenda seeks to provoke election-season and post-election conversation on feasible action points for the state, which generally differ from the ones the media or government might imagine, or that are popular internationally. The policy agenda action points also guide the work of AJD member organisations’ strategic plans for activism and community organising.
During the 2015 election season, AJD organisations joined forces to introduce a policy agenda building upon the work of CAISO in the 2010 election season. The 2015 Policy Agenda offered 12 action steps for decision makers as priority concerns of LGBTI+ people across these 6 broad areas: Representation, Leadership and State Capacity; Homelessness; Gender Identity; Tolerance, Safety and Achievement in Schools; Legislation and Equal Protection; Criminal Justice and Police Protection. These areas remained a priority for AJD organisations in the past five years and some important outcomes were achieved in the following areas: parliamentary representation, the establishment of a GBV unit with the TTPS announcing its inclusive stance on LGBTI issues, greater school safety through training on GBV and bullying, promises for strengthening human rights institutions, and decriminalisation.
In order to develop this 2020 Policy Agenda, CAISO held a community forum on 4 March 2020 to make collective decisions on the priority concerns for 2020. A working group was established after this event and a research consultant guided the process of a desk review of previous policy engagements. On AJD’s behalf, CAISO and the Silver Lining Foundation hosted a second community forum, held virtually, called Talk Yuh Talk The Gay Agenda on 12 July 2020. The work, experiences, and research conducted by the AJD organisations over the last five years guided an open discussion of the draft agenda. Based on the forum and consultations, the 2020 LGBTI Policy Agenda – 13 Action Points was launched online the following week just before Trinidad and Tobago’s 2020 General Election. After the election, AJD members revised and updated the Policy Agenda to reflect the newly formed government and cabinet as well as community engagement since July and more trans and intersex visibility.
This 2020 LGBTI Policy Agenda 2.0 includes critical areas of concern that resonate with the previous agendas, reflects updates and more specific calls to action from the Government to address the following concerns: State Capacity and Training on Human Rights; Discrimination in and Access to Employment, Healthcare, Housing and Goods/Services; Poverty and Homelessness; Comprehensive Sex Education; Gender Based and LGBTI Violence and Policing; Legislative and Policy exclusions and blindspots.