Rule of Law Programs in El Salvador

Increasing justice sector capacity to protect against violence

The LGBT community is disproportionately targeted with violence and police often fail to sufficiently investigate if sexual orientation or identity were causal factors in cases of physical violence. 

The justice sector’s inability to address violence against the LGBT community is based on poor understanding and a lack of sensitivity towards the community. To address this, ABA ROLI conducts trainings for justice sector operators and health care workers on how to combat violence against LGBT persons. These “sensitivity training” workshops build awareness of LGBT needs and trends of continued physical violence and enable justice sector officials and healthcare operators to take on a “watchdog” role in identifying victims. ABA ROLI’s hands-on approach provides participants with an opportunity to learn more LGBT rights and how violence is brought against them, to conduct a review of investigative and prosecutorial tools, to conduct practical exercises with hypothetical cases, and to apply lessons learned with other medical professionals, police and prosecutors attending, investigating and conducting the trial.

Increasing civil society capacity to advocate for LGBT rights

ABA ROLI is also helping foster a working dialogue between LGBT stakeholder organizations to discuss the central challenges facing LGBT persons. ABA ROLI is working to improve the capacity of the local Fundación de Familiares y Amigos por la Diversidad Sexual de El Salvador “De la Mano Contigo” (Foundation of Family and Friends for Sexual Diversity in El Salvador “Holding Your Hand”), a Salvadoran not-for-profit organization that seeks to increase civic awareness and respect for LGBT issues. Together with De la Mano Contigo, ABA ROLI is leading a working group of LGBT-rights organizations to identify common goals and strategies to advocate for LGBT rights in El Salvador. This will include creating materials to inform the LGBT community of its rights and particular services offered by the justice and health care sectors to protect them from physical, sexual and psychological violence.