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Maya Simek's Fundraiser:

LGBT/HIV LEGAL CLINIC IN EL SALVADOR

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BENEFITING:

Maya Simek

THE STORY:

Public Interest Attorney, Maya Simek, and recent law graduate, Danielle Doza, seek to serve as legal advocates in El Salvador for two months in order to assist in the development of a legal clinic designed to help individuals in El Salvador who are members of the LGBT community and/or living with HIV/AIDS.

As this position is unfunded, Maya and Danielle need to raise funds to cover the expense of travel and living expenses during the two months.
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The Project: The leading LGBTQ human rights group---Asociaci?n Entre Amigos ('AEA') has requested legal advocates for new legal services NGO in San Salvador. AEA works with the most vulnerable including transgender persons and those living with HIV/AIDS who are grossly marginalized, oppressed and persecuted. The legal clinic in El Salvador will, for the first time, make justice accessible to the LGBTQ community.

Background: Post conflict El Salvador is undergoing an exciting transformation after years of conservative Right Wing politics. Through the new democratically elected FMLN liberal party, the country has real opportunities for strengthening the rule of law by asserting and defending the rights of LGBTQ. AEA seeks pro bono advocates to bring about historic change for the LGBTQ community in El Salvador's legal justice system through the work of this new legal services clinic.

Duties & Responsibilities of Legal Advocates:
> Assist in implementing a new reform act entitled 'Presidential Decree 56,' signed by President Mauricio Funes of the FMLN party. The Decree is a major step forward in the human rights of LGBTQ persons. It prohibits discrimination by public officials and public employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, it has not been widely disseminated among the public or the stake holders, and no one has been trained to ensure its implementation. Significant gaps in the law and in its enforcement remain.
> Interview clients
> Make administrative court appearances
> Conduct legal audits
>Propose law reform programs as regards human rights violations
> Conduct outreach and presentations about the legal services program to the Salvadoran judiciary & branches of law enforcement.
> Assist in training health care workers on non-discrimination, informed consent, confidentiality
> Participate in meetings with government officials, other NGOs involved in the rule of law movement, and human rights organizations such as health providers, schools, labor organizations and others.
> Work on other community outreach and legal 'Know Your Rights' efforts.

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