Cancún, Quintana Roo, June 21, 2017.
The Coalition of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, Transsexuals, Travestis and Intersex (LGBTTTI) of Latin America and the Caribbean celebrates the adoption of the General Resolution on Human Rights, which has a section focused on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, by the Organization of American States (OAS), during its 47th General Assembly.
In that Resolution, OAS condemns all forms of discrimination and acts of violence based on sexual orientation or on gender identity or expression, and urges Member States to take effective measures for the protection of the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) people. In particular, the Resolution calls on Member States to generate data, prevent and investigate acts of homophobic, lesbophobic, biphobic, and transphobic violence. Further, it calls States to guarantee proper protection to human rights defenders working on the rights of LGBTI people through the implementation of policies and procedures ensuring the protection of these rights. The Resolution, as in previous years, urges States to afford appropriate protection to intersex people, regarding medical practices.
The LGBTTTI Coalition, formed by more than 40 organizations from most countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region, considers this Resolution important for the recognition of the progressive character of human rights in the region, in line with the strengthening of the Inter-American Human Rights System.
This Resolution, which has a section focused on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, is the result of the hard work the LGBTTTI Coalition has been developing within the OAS since 2007. As in previous occasions, its presence and ongoing participation in different actions and dialogues with OAS Member States during the General Assembly counteracted the bigot actions and hate speech of fundamentalist and anti-rights organizations who tried to stop the passing and adoption of the Resolution. Thanks to the work of the LGBTTTI Coalition and particularly thanks to the diplomatic dialogues carried out by Member States who are part of the OAS LGBTI Core Group, the Resolution was finally passed, in spite of the opposition of Paraguay, Suriname, St. Lucia and Jamaica, all of which are countries that precisely are noted by their lack of protection of the human rights of their LGBTI citizens. Despite all regressive efforts, the consensus of the States prevailed and the Resolution was passed.
The LGBTTTI Coalition acknowledges the engagement by the Member States of the OAS LGBTI Core Group, comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, USA, Mexico and Uruguay. The LGBTTTI Coalition remarks the commitment of both the Inter-American Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. It also urges States to keep the obligations already taken to protect and promote human rights, as well as to put in place affirmative public policies to protect the LGBTI population, particularly children, youth, women, indigenous people, afro-descendants, people with disabilities, people deprived of liberty, people living with HIV, migrants and older persons, among others.
The LGBTTTI Coalition welcomes the election of two new female commissioners and one new male commissioner to the IACHR: Flavia Piovesan (Brazil), Antonia Urrejola (Chile) and Joel Hernández (Mexico), whose presence in the Commission, we hope, will strengthen the work of that body. Also, the LGBTTTI Coalition sees with pleasure the decision adopted by OAS during this General Assembly to duplicate the resources allocated to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
We call on the eight OAS Member States who are part of the OAS LGBTI Core Group to continue to join efforts to promote LGBTI rights inside that organization, and within their countries.
The LGBTTTI Coalition reaffirms its commitment to keep working until complete respect for sexual diversity and human rights recognition are achieved in all the region.
We would like to thank COC Netherlands, the Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Personas Trans (Redlactrans), Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Akahatá – Equipo de trabajo en Sexualidades y Géneros and Arcus Foundation for their crucial support to ensure our participation in this General Assembly.
The following people and organizations attended as part of the LGBTTTI Coalition of Latin American and Caribbean Organizations working in the context of the OAS:
Also in attendance:
36. CANADIAN HIV/AIDS LEGAL NETWORK – Maurice Tomlinson – Canada,
37. Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) – Maria Fontanelle and Fernander Augustin – Saint Lucia,
Press release available in Spanish and Portuguese