On Tuesday, April 5, American Jewish World Service organized a closed briefing for U.S congressional staff on the human rights issues facing trans people and the need for the U.S. government to play a leading role in providing foreign assistance funding to support trans rights activism across the world. AJWS is working with supportive members of congress to advocate for the inclusion of strong language on LGBT rights, including ensuring that the U.S prioritizes trans issues across its foreign assistance programs, in the annual State, Foreign Operations budget report. This is the report that provides guidance to the Obama Administration on how it should prioritize foreign assistance funding approved through Congress.

The briefing included remarks by AJWS’ Government Affairs Associate, Harry Samuels, on the importance of U.S leadership on the issue, followed by Nicole Santamaria, from Asociación Colectivo Alejandría who gave an overview of the human rights situation for trans people in El Salvador. Lastly, Dave Scamell presented on the global trans funding landscape, drawing on the various research reports from GPP members completed in recent years. As the Obama Administration comes to a close and the U.S elects its next President, AJWS will be working with its coalition partners to ensure that the commitment to LGBT rights made by the U.S government in the past 8 years is solidified and built upon.