Transgender people Situation in Santa Fe, Argentina

The LGBTI House is a Social and Cultural Center for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Trans and Intersex in Santa Fe, Argentina. This center provides information, guidance and advice on LGBTI rights, on situations of social vulnerability or discrimination, as well as on spaces and places of entertainment. In addition, courses and workshops are given to the community, cultural activities are carried out, and space is available for social organizations in the region to develop social, cultural, community and educational activities


Gender Identity Law - Argentina

 The law 26,743 approved on May 9, 2012 guarantees the right to recognition of the self-perceived identity for members of the trans collective by administrative procedure, not requiring any evidence or reports of any kind.

From its approval until June 2018 (last national official data) 6870 people from all over the country agreed to this recognition. (5501 Trans women and 1369 Trans men).

 The procedure foreseen in the law has two steps:

 

  1. Issuance of a new birth certificate and immobilization of the previous item (in charge of each of the 23 provinces and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires)

  2. Issuance of a new Identity Document (under the responsibility of RENAPER - National State)

     

The law also contemplates access to universal health care (hormonal therapies and gender affirmation operations) in the public health system and in the private system (Social Work and pre-paid medicine companies)

 Comprehensive Inclusion Program of the Trans collective in Santa Fe

According to official data from the Provincial Civil Registry, since the approval of the Gender Identity Law (May 2012) and until January 2019, 852 transgender people have registered in their personal documentation throughout the provincial territory. It is estimated that this number represents 60% of the total trans population, so according to the work that the Undersecretary of Sexual Diversity Policies in various locations in the province of Santa Fe, we can determine that the trans Santa Fe collective reaches 1370 trans women and men

About this total, and based on data from those who accessed their new DNI, 82% were registered transgender women and 18% transgender men.

 

Discrimination and exclusion

According to data from the Ministry of Health, the life expectancy of the trans collective is only 42 years. This low life expectancy is partly explained by the reality of discrimination that has historically impacted this group, which has led to an early structural exclusion that begins in the family itself and continues through school, health, training and employment.

In Argentina - and in Santa Fe province, in particular - 95% of the trans population has not acceded to registered employment, more than 60% have not completed their primary or secondary education and, in most of the Argentine provinces, there are difficulties for access to health services, especially those related to HIV, other STIs, hormonal therapies and access to gender affirmation surgeries.

 

The Integral Trans Program as a boarding strategy

Based on the diagnosis made prior to the opening of the Undersecretariat, which included the participation of government teams, civil society organizations (FALGBT, ATTTA, Unidos todos, among others) and agencies of the United Nations System, the Trans Universal Inclusion Program was structured for the province of Santa Fe, an effort that articulates resources and policies of various areas of the provincial government in order to give a comprehensive response to the complex situation of trans women and men in the Santa Fe area.

The actions, which although implemented through various Ministries are coordinated by the Undersecretary of Sexual Diversity Policies (located in the Ministry of Social Development), address various areas of daily life and access to rights of the population addressed:

 

Scope of labour inclusion and social protection

- New Trans Opportunity: With the objective of improving the employability skills of transgender women and men, and within the framework of the New Opportunity provincial program - training in basic trades with incentive scholarship - several training courses were held in localities of the province (Rosario, Santa Fe, Romang, Tostado, San Jose del Rincon) reaching a total of 180 participants. The program was developed during 2016, 2017 and 2018. Its continuity is expected in 2019.

- Nexus Employment: in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the registration form for the Nexus Employment Program was modified so that people from the trans collective can enter specific data of the collective in order to facilitate labour insertion. So far 93 trans people registered in the system.

- Nexus opportunity: From the training in trade, and through an internship grant for the Government of Santa Fe, it facilitates the labour practice of men and trans women in private sector companies and cooperatives. Currently 15 trans women, with problematic substance use, are trained in trades and will soon be inserted into two cooperatives in order to enter the labour market. All this with the accompaniment of professional teams that address the problem of consumption. At the end of 2018, 13 trans people joined the registered employment through this program.

- On-the-job training: On the basis of the joint work of the Subsecretariat of Sexual Diversity Policies and the Secretariat of Social Integration and Subsecretariat of Inclusion for people with disabilities, training courses were held to assist people with disabilities and promoters of gerontological care. A total of 40 trans women agreed to the training, achieving a high degree of labour insertion (in national public programs - including health - and IAPOS provincial, autonomous) that reaches 65% of the participants.

- Trans labour quota: within the framework of the affirmative actions of trans inclusion, the Undersecretary actively supports the sanction of Municipal Ordinances of Trans Labor Quotas as well as the processing of the provincial law for these purposes. Since 2016, there are nine localities in the province that have a local Ordinance of trans-employment quota: Rosario (2016), Venado Tuerto (2017), Chañar Ladeado (2017), Capitán Bermúdez (2017), San Justo (2017), San José del Rincón (2018), Santo Tomé (2018), city of Gálvez (2018) and Santa Fe capital (2018). These cities represent 40% of the total population of the province, which expresses an important coverage of these initiatives. Villa Constitución, Romang, San Lorenzo and Reconquista are currently discussing initiatives in this regard.

- Historical reparation / Social Security: From a joint work with the Human Rights Secretariat of the province, it was possible to reconstruct the violence and discrimination experienced by the trans collective during the last military dictatorship. Through an administrative and judicial process it was achieved that trans women over 5 years who were victims of state terrorism were incorporated into the province law of Political Prisoners, under the argument that the expression of their gender identity was a central reason for the persecution. In this way 13 trans women from the city of Rosario have already being allocated for receiving the life pension granted by the Government of Santa Fe - which includes social work coverage - and 8 trans women from the city of Santa Fe are currently processing this benefit. 9 more benefits are processed. The possibility of accessing a monthly income means for this group of women, access to a social protection floor to live a full adulthood citizenship, and with access to a living equivalent to two national minimum pensions (at today's values approximately USD 600 monthly).

 

Scope of Education

- Protocol for recognition of gender identity in school settings: Since 2012, the Ministry of Education of the province has a specific protocol for the recognition of gender identity of transgender students. This protocol covers dignified treatment, the recognition of identity in official documentation (notebooks, titles, certificates) and that related to bathing, physical activity, etc.

- Scholarship Program "At school you can be": Since 2017, the Undersecretariat of Sexual Diversity Policies in conjunction with the Ministry of Education grants an incentive scholarship for people from the trans collective to resume their primary, secondary and tertiary studies. In the first year, 123 Trans people from 35 locations participated in the grant. During the second year, 140 people from 43 locations participate, representing an annual investment of more than $ 1,400,000. In 2019 the figure rose to 180 participants, increasing the annual investment to $ 2,160,000

 

Scope of Health

- New Hormone Therapy Services: In conjunction with the Ministry of Health, a training process is being carried out for personnel from Primary Health Care Centers for the opening of hormone therapy services in the five regions of the province. Today there are more than 30 authorized services in locations such as: Rosario, Santa Fe, Venado Tuerto, Las Parejas, Rafaela, Reconquista, Villa Ocampo, San Justo, Baigorria Grenadier, Cayastá and Villa Gobernador Gálvez among others. The hormones are provided by the provincial Ministry of Health and will gradually be incorporated those provided by the National Ministry of Health. The training of the teams includes not only clinical aspects, but also human rights, dignified treatment, anti-discriminatory legislation and LGBTI rights.

- Surgical equipment: The province of Santa Fe has three surgical centers in which the various gender affirmation operations contemplated in the Gender Identity Law are practiced. In the Eva Perón Hospital of Granadero Baigorria, interventions of vaginoplasty and thoracoplasty (masculinizing) are performed. Shortly, masculinizing genitoplasty operations will begin. In the Centennial Provincial Hospital breast implants (feminizing), thoracoplasty and vaginoplasty are performed. At the CEMAR in Rosario breast implants are performed. During 2018, through an agreement between the Undersecretariat and the Cooperating Association of the Hospital del Centenario, 20 pairs of prostheses have been purchased to meet the demand for feminizing breast implants. A total of 60 interventions were also carried out.

 

Scope of participation and citizenship

- Provincial Trans Infants Service: As a result of the greater visibility of transgender infants, since mid-2017 the Undersecretary has implemented a provincial service for transgender children that, at the head of this area, links transgender girls and boys, their families and affective environments with health, education and social policy effectors, with the aim of accompanying the transit of these children under the paradigm of "Happy childhoods and free of discrimination". The interdisciplinary team has attention based in Rosario and Santa Fe, and is articulated with local services in the Municipalities and Communes of the rest of the province. Recently, the first space for families was opened, with the participation of 30 family groups and affective environments.

- Trans Tables: With the aim of promoting the participation and empowerment of transgender women and men, the Undersecretary promotes the associationism and the meeting through the Trans Table that has a plenary provincial chapter and meetings by locality and trans women and men. separately. During the last meeting of trans males, more than 60 participants arrived from all over the province. And at the trans women's provincial table about 100 activists met. Currently this is working with transgender people in more than 70 of the 363 localities in the province.

- Approach to the trans-penitentiary population: together with the Provincial Penitentiary Service, a survey of the trans-deprived population of freedom is carried out and the transit of transgender women and men is followed in relation to their human rights, integrity, accommodation, access to hormonal treatments and participation in training and training activities. In the penal dives of the province are housed 6 trans women and trans men are still pointed out.

- LGBTI houses: within the framework of the actions of visibility, protection and assistance of rights of the LGBTI population, and especially the transgender population, four "LGBTI Houses" have been opened in the province, functioning as Social and Cultural Centers for the community, as well as reference and service spaces (social, psychological assistance, training, etc.). At present, the Houses in Rosario (2016), Venado Tuerto (2017), Santa Fe (2017) and Gálvez (2018) operate. Work is being done to open the first LGBTI House in the north of Santa Fe, in the town of Reconquista.

- Day Center for the trans population: Located in Rosario and co-managed with ATTTA the Day Center for trans population is open from Monday to Friday from 10 to 18 and has various professional services (legal, mental health, consumption of substances, medical clinic, testing), lunch service 3 times per week and training courses in various areas. Currently, more than 50 trans women and men have lunch 3 times a week and, counting the training courses, more than 120 trans people attend regularly.

In 2019 a space with similar characteristics will be opened in the city of Santa Fe, within the framework of the LGBTI House in the provincial capital.

- Provincial survey of access to the rights and public policies of the trans population in Santa Fe: In conjunction with the Provincial Institute of Statistics and Census, the first provincial survey of the trans population is currently being carried out. The survey will reach approximately 600 cases in 52 localities throughout the province. The data will be known in the second semester of 2019 and will allow planning and monitoring the impact of provincial public policies on the population.