Friday, 7 June 2019
RIA reiterates that the physical and psychological safety of children is key to their health and future prospects. Where this safety is threatened, their rights and needs are ignored. Children who are affected include adolescents, females, refugees, and displaced children, children in armed conflict, tension and strife. As such, the first step towards the promotion and protection of this safety lies in the application of international human rights law in humanitarian situations. The requirement to protect and to ensure the protection of the rights of the child, calls for the use of international human rights law as the measure of first resort in a humanitarian crisis. Reliance on human rights law as captured in the African Children’s Charter, for example, offers protection of children affected by conflict, crises and humanitarian situations, and protection in other situations. This is because human rights standards give rise to legal obligations that are generally valid at all times and in all situations, including during humanitarian crises. Thus, the application of humanitarian law is a complementary tool to the protection of children’s rights in humanitarian contexts. The universally recognized humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence are themselves linked to the core principles of children’s rights, particularly the right to life, survival and development, non-discrimination, and the best interests of the child. The requirement to place children’s rights first is an indication that where there is an obligation, the requisite body or individual must fulfil such an obligation in the interests of the child or children concerned. This is a restatement of the need to uphold the best interests of the child at all times. Placing children’s rights first is a recognition of the principle in Article 4(1) of the Children’s Charter that should be interpreted broadly to incorporate all actions that directly or indirectly affect children. The best interests’ principle ought to be used as a “gap filling” tool that is used to ensure that the child whose rights are violated in a humanitarian crisis are subsequently recognized and protected by the world.
Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First the best interest of the child. This should be evaluated through the tools used to re-integrate the children who are affected by the humanitarian crisis. Closely linked to the child’s right to life, survival and development is the right to health. Humanitarian crises affect children’s health not only physically, but mentally and psychologically as well. States needs to pay attention to the health needs of children, even and especially during humanitarian crises, and respond to their survival needs. Attention should also be paid to the health needs of children based on gender differences. For example, adolescent girls in humanitarian crises may have sanitation and/or menstruation as well as sexual and reproductive health needs (including sexually transmitted diseases) that are different from the needs of other affected children. Also of great importance to children’s survival and development during humanitarian crises is the right to education. RIA affirms the importance of securing education for children regardless of context. Access to education and learning helps children cope with the trauma of humanitarian disasters, enabling them to build resilience and provides them with some form of stability. What do children want in times of emergency and crisis? They want an education, focused on children’s development, able to prepare children for preventing and dealing with or responding to humanitarian crises, equipping them equipping them with practical skills to enhance their protection and survival. We call the government of Botswana to have strategies in place to ensure children can continue to access education during humanitarian crises if they arise. ‘Children’s rights first’ underscores the interconnectedness of all children rights whether during or outside of humanitarian crises. Like the Charter (and the global United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – CRC), Agenda 2030 recognizes the interdependence of rights and underscores the importance of the goals to the development of children. Through the adoption of a rights-based approach to sustainable development, children’s rights are highlighted as the pivot around which State action towards development should revolve. This approach increases monitoring and improves accountability of governments towards the realization of children’s rights in connection to Agenda 2030 goals.32. Similarly, it is important for all stakeholders, including those working in separate fields of development, policy, and human rights, etc. To work together and ensure a cohesive and comprehensive response to humanitarian crises rather than working in silos.
With all this having been said, it is vital that we as RIA remind the public on the Hands of Our Genitals campaign which is aimed at protecting intersex children from the health risks and permanent damage caused by surgeries done on them at birth to “normalize” their sex and fit them in a box.
Tuesday, 28 May 2019
My name is Phio Kenosi I was born to a jolly woman who, bless her soul, did not know that she was having a headache for a child. When I was a kid I am reported to have hated anything remotely feminine with a passion to the extent that drinking out of the same cup as a girl gave me the hibbies and I thought girls had cooties, so you see problem child. I played with “boys” toys and until recently mom didn’t know I gave my cousin my Barbie doll when we were kids in exchange for a goblin and gargoyle action figure. All my best friends were all boys, still are to this day and everything made sense in that way, I just knew I wasn’t a girl and had no real concept of anything else.
I have lived an interesting life, I was allowed to express myself after they grew tired of trying to “doll” me up. The perfect ‘daughter dare I say, once they saw that wasn’t going to work we sort of just decided that I understood what felt good on my skin and society hadn’t peeped in to who I was yet and therefore I was deemed acceptable because of my childhood. I could wear pants in Church and at funerals which was and still is considered a taboo [insert face palm and eye roll emoji], without realizing it I was privy to a space I would slowly be expelled from simply on the base that I did not agree with their notion of what it meant to be someone in particular.
When society decided I must leave my childhood whiles behind and join the big people’s table in all honesty I was not expecting it. I was still for the most part a child and I still am said child, who knew nothing about this person I was supposed to be. I was to start wearing dresses to Church and funerals, at family events I couldn’t go gather firewood with the other boy cousins, I was not allowed to handle power tools and I couldn’t take part in activities I previously enjoyed, I was now dainty and delicate. The people made a decision for me about who I am at this point and I was to bend to this will, the most insulting part of this was when the charades started no one came to explain anything to me, to explain why they thought the world ought to work the way they were suggesting.
It was at this point that I started to question God, I mean why make me different only to try and beat it out of me? Try and make me suffer for the fact that the brain and the body did not correlate? Try to take away that which was not singular in thought process as its world? I decided that god was not my friend, not only because he was not replying my texts (Prayers), but also because his representatives seem to all want to prove that ‘God’ made no mistakes and yet I was still classified as a mistake. My mother wanted so hard to help because she did not understand, at first they all thought it was a phase, then trauma hit me and they thought it was that and then they thought that I was bewitched (of which I do not believe in). They listened to the naysayers, the charlatans and all the weird, toxic and harmful messaging that demonized me before them and therefore led to this culmination of what and who I am in regards to religion and society.
I remember once my mother asked me to go to church with her, at this point I did things to please them and get them off my back. It was all so heavy on my soul but I did it anyway in the name of benevolence and family honor. This man calling himself the man of god and preaching out of someone's backyard, under a tent that could seemingly collapse at any time, held up by poles and the floor littered with mats which were a collection from people’s houses all for them to gather and listen to a man ordained by the church in South Africa, with his ever pleasing Sotho accent. My mother had tried to explain our situation to him, he called us up to the middle of the circle and he proceeded to tell me that I had a demonic spirit of a bull, that I was stubborn and I needed to be delivered from this spirit to which he continued to force my body to the floor with about 3 other strong armed men, he blew into my face and proceeded to call out the demon in me. Looking back now it seems much like an outer body experience because I remember thinking to myself, this can’t be right and only one scripture was in my head at this point, “God is Love and he who does not know love does not know God” John something. It felt like I was being attacked and therefore it hurt me fundamentally, down to my core. I must add that I had flu for the whole week after that.
In my current state I am non-religious and yet I still have nightmares about the church, every time I cough I keep thinking of that one man that told me hell was my portion, there is deep scarring even for those around me. Imagine hearing this as a parent, the amount of panic that ensues in your brain when you’ve been hoping to save your child from the clutches of the devil. Being told your family is cursed with such a spirit and that it dates back to times of ancient instead of rationalizing you proceed to panic further. We will never be over this time and I will not lie and say that I have fully forgiven, the cold sweats at night and demons I see when I close my eyes say otherwise because there are more stories where these came from.
I am tired though, I wish to never have explain myself to anyone ever again and I am getting there, and there is hope in my bones still. When I went to varsity I was the happiest little gay child you ever did see. I found other gay people and watched a lot of gay content online, I connected to online communities and I stayed awkward. I have open honest conversations with my parents about all the things I know of myself, I am still piecing myself together but I am not afraid to share this with others.
I remember I was on YouTube going through my list of Queer content creators one time and I came across a black Non Binary, Asexual content creator, talking about all these things that I knew myself to be, they helped me put words to feelings I was having have been having instead of just saying I’m not a girl and people assuming that that means I am a boy it also meant that I could exist in this blank space. I am a research body and so I decided to research all the ways one could exist in this space. People say there is western influence and the truth is we just didn’t have the words to say this is who we are and now they’re here so we use them. We also never had people that look like us, living their truth and telling us that its ok to exist in this manner and as we are and when I saw that this person existed and I listened to them and things made sense to me I knew I was home and I was not alone.
I had always known who I was it made others uncomfortable, people being confused means they try to silence you and take away your individual stake in the world. There is a song by Wrebel it’s called The Village and the depiction of it is that there is a boy who is trapped in these circumstance where he can’t be himself but he becomes himself in the end and there is a statement that struck a chord with me they say “There is nothing wrong with you, it’s true, There’s something wrong with the village” I still cry to this day when I hear this song because I will forever agree with this statement. I will also shout it from the rooftops for anyone who needs to hear it. In case you missed it my name is Phio Kenosi and I am a Trans Non-Binary individual who believes we can fix the village and there’s nothing wrong with me and others like me.
at May 28, 2019
Friday, 17 May 2019
PRESS RELEASE: 2019 IDAHOT
To: All Media Houses
RAINBOW IDENTITY ASSOCIATION: DEFENDERS FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY COMMEMORATES IDAHOT 2019 KWA GAMAILA KO KANYE
Every year the global community of sexual and gender minorities identifies one specific focus issue for the celebrations around May 17th which is IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia Transphobia and Biphobia). This year, the proposal is to focus attention on JUSTICE AND PROTECTION FOR ALL. Indeed, everyone is entitled to justice and protection regardless of their gender identity, expression, sex and sexuality. We all need to keep advocating for the protection and justice for the LGBTIQ, especially when we need to ensure safety, fight violence, lobby for legal change, and/or campaign to change hearts and minds. Putting the focus of the Day on Justice and protection for all can create a valuable opportunity for all of us to reach out to the our communities, legal and justice system and relevant authorities like the police on emphasis of the protection of these key populations and vulnerable groups, and to engage in collective action around the Day.
Rainbow Identity Association (RIA) commemorates this day every year, however this year RIA will be commemorating it on the 18th of May in Kanye and would like the community and entire country to commemorate this day with them. RIA is a non-profit making organization based in Gaborone Botswana. It is an association of intersex and transgender people (Trans-women,Trans-men, queer gender, gender questioning, transsexuals and non- conforming gender). The organisation aims at exploring ways of challenging trans-phobic laws and trans-phobia in Botswana.
RIA prides itself in advocating for the voices of Trans and intersex people to be heard through sport and gender, community outreach, all forms of media and more. RIA has been operating for almost 10 years and has done great work and still is and would like the support of the entire country in celebrating diversity and the lives both lost and ongoing LGBTIQ community. Before we have gender identity, expression and sex we are human being and it is up to us human being to live in harmony by finding peaceful ways to co-exist and one of those ways is ensuring justice and protection for all. RIA can only do so much and needs the support and solidarity of the nation to successfully execute this because “setshwarwa ke ntsa pedi gase thata “ ebile “moroto o esi ga o ele”
This focus should also be a welcome reminder of the need for protection within the communities of sexual and gender minorities, as the rights of one specific group cannot be secured if the rights of other groups are left unchallenged. The focus on protection and justice should also highlight the necessity for sexual and gender minorities to push for the protection of other vulnerable groups (e.g. migrants, people living in poverty, vulnerable children, etc.).
The commemoration will take place in Kanye spear headed by Bobela Stas; a Kanye youth LGBTIQ led movement that was formed 2 years ago. There will be a march from Mahube mall to BG mall and then after the march they will be a key note speaker who is a member of Kanye council and then solidarity massages from other organisations, on discrimination and stigma and map the inter-sectionality with stakeholders to ensure ending violence and inequality against different diverse communities and lobby for legal reform as a collective.
at May 17, 2019