State Department to Spend $450,000 Protecting Transgenders - Overseas

June 14, 2013 - 4:05 PM

Pakistan Transgender Elections

A transgender candidate (right) in Pakistan's elections talks with locals in Karachi, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

( – The State Department through its Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) is planning to spend $450,000 in taxpayer dollars “to support programs that increase protection of transgender persons who face acute forms of violence and harassment.”

The primary goal of the grant “is to ensure that incidents of violence are documented and investigated and that victims receive appropriate legal redress through domestic, regional, or international human rights mechanisms.”

The bureau is seeking proposals that will “strengthen civil society organizations’ efforts to both document incidents of violence and the investigation process (or lack thereof)” and “ensure transgender persons have adequate legal representation.”

The proposals must also “support local civil society organizations to seek redress through regional and international human rights mechanisms,” and “where feasible/appropriate, sensitivity training for law enforcement agencies.”

The grant was posted on March 28, 2013. The closing date for applications was May 2, 2013. The State Department has yet to announce the grant recipient.

The DRL is looking for organizations working to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT people. The Secretary’s Global Equality Fund, which was launched in December 2011, aims to support the work of civil society organizations working on LGBT issues around the globe.

“Programs attributed to the Global Equality Fund are part of DRL’s broader initiative to support and empower marginalized populations, including women, children, persons with disabilities, religious and ethnic minorities, and LGBT persons. This program will focus on providing protection to individuals who experience violence due to their real or perceived gender identity,” the grant announcement said.

“Organizations may submit proposals for any region or country in the world, but proposals for activities in Eastern Europe and Central and South America “are strongly encouraged,” the grant said.

Attempts to contact the State Department by phone and email about the grant went unanswered by press time.