(March 25th, 2020, Latin America and The Caribbean).- As Luis Almagro was reelected as Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), at the Special Session of the March 20th, 2020 General Assembly, the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Trans, Transsexuals, Cros-dressed, and Intersex Coalition (LGBTTTI) of Latin America and The Caribbean that work within the OAS framework, urged him to reaffirm his compromise with human rights of all people without discrimination, based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual characteristics as well as sexual workers human rights, sexual rights, and reproductive rights.
Proliferation discourses against human rights
In the election context, the Secretary General moved closer to positions that might be considered opposites to the non-discrimination right of lesbians, gay, bisexuals, trans, and intersex (LGBTI), and in general against sexual rights, and reproductive rights. From several years we report the growing speech that attacks LGBTI people in places of OAS participation, including the General Assembly. According to United Nations,and OAS experts, there is a relation between the discourses that seek promoting intolerance, and dehumanize LGBT people, and crimes increase for prejudices against them. These messages usually also include a narrative that doesn’t know legitimacy of the Inter-American Human Rights System bodies to control the states fulfillment of the obligation of guarantee equality rights, and non-discrimination. Many of these messages are used as precepts such as “gender ideology”, a term empty of real content, that has been criticized by experts and human rights international institutions, because try to attack any advance in favor of equality, and full implementation of all human rights for everyone.
Human rights violations in America
In spite of several advances in the region, there are still serious threats for exercising LGBTI human rights, and high levels of violence, discrimination, and criminalization, including its childhood and adolescence. The pursuit and harassment to LGBTI advocates are still increasing, especially in countries with regimes of authoritarian or conservatives governments. Also, forced migration, sexual and labor exploitation, absence of guarantees for exercising economic, social, cultural, and systematic violence rights generated by police institutions, and criminal groups have a big impact disproportioning LGBTI people.
In terms of self-sexual-work, and in spite of not being explicitly forbidden in most countries, there are norms and laws that penalize different acts related to sexual work. That, linked to the clear regulations absence that recognize sexual work as a job, it creates conditions that promote institutional violence -including sexual and physical violence, extortion, and illegal detentions- and reinforce obstacles that prevent sexual workers to access to basic health care services and justice.
The Secretary General of the OAS must reaffirm its compromise in favor of human rights
In regard of this, the OAS needs leadership to defend human rights, non-discrimination, and a violence-free life , as well as the full implementation of human rights such as sexual workers rights, sexual rights, and reproductive rights. During his entry to office speech in 2015, the Secretary General Luis Almagro said that “The inequality and generation of opportunities issues for all citizens, regardless their race, gender, place of birth, social condition or sexual orientation is still a present concern in all our countries, from Canada to the Patagonia”.
Thus, we watched during the first mandate years of the Secretary General, he has made proclaims in favor of the full implementation of human rights for all people. For instance, in May 17th, 2019, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, the Secretary General said on twitter: “no one can be discriminated or deny access to their rights for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our societies do not have place for inequality. Everyone has the right to be whoever they are, to love whoever they want, and to express freely.” The Secretary General has also said: “We expect that the violence in the whole continent against LGBTIQ people, the discrimination that they suffer is resolved,” “ We want every country to investigate and to resolve any matter of LGBTI peoples and communities … We want every country to provide solutions for how the basic principles of human rights can be made operative in order to resolve these issues.”
(Washington Blade, April 24th, 2019).
For everything mentioned before, our coalition urges the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, during the second period of his mandate to compromise his management to:
- Reunite periodically with our coalition, and renew his compromise with human rights of all people without discrimination, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression discrimination, the sexual workers human rights, sexual rights, and reproductive rights.
- To continue emitting proclaims on commemorative days, including the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, International Woman’s Day (and in said statement make reference to sexual and reproductive rights), and others including the Transgender Day of Remembrance , the Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and World AIDS Day. Give a proclaim on International Sex Workers Day, urging the OAS states to revise their regulations and laws that penalize different acts related to sexual work, to prevent and sanction institutional violence, and to eliminate obstacles that deny access to basic health care services, and justice.
- Proclaim himself categorically affirming that the right to religious freedom can not be used to deny, suppress or limit LGBTI human rights, sexual and reproductive rights, and any religious freedom exercise can not oppose to the equaly and non-discrimination principles.
- Adopt all effective measurements to guarantee that organizations or groups in the OAS spaces do not use discourses to stigmatize IACHR commissioners, LGBTI people, sexual workers, sexual and reproductive rights defenders, or to a narrative that denies the existence, and full implementation of human rights for all people, without any discrimination.
- Continue his support to the Social Inclusion Secretary, The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and the Inter-American Commission of Women, and defend these institutions from improper interferences by some states of the OAS, which seek to impose their opposite agendas to LGBTI human rights, sexual workers, sexual rights, and reproductive rights.
The following institutions signed as part of the LGBTTTI coalition on Latin-America and The Caribbean institutions that work within the frame of the OAS:
- Argentina – AKAHATÁ Equipo de Trabajo en Sexualidades y Género
- Argentina – ATTTA (RedLACTrans)
- Belize – TIA Belize (RedLACTrans)
- Belize – United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM)
- Bolivia – Red Nacional de Mujeres Trans en Bolivia (REDTREBOL) (RedLACTrans)
- Bolivia – Fundación Diversencia
- Brasil – Articulação Política das Juventudes Negras
- Brasil – Grupo Ativista de Travestis, Transexuais e Amig@s (GATTA)
- Brasil – Grupo Esperança
- Brasil – Liga Brasileira de Lesbicas (LBL)
- Brasil – Rede Nacional de Negr@s e Afros LGBTTT (Rede-afros-lgbts)
- Canadá – *The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network – Canada (*Miembro Asociado)
- Chile – Asociación OTD Organizando Trans Diversidades
- Chile – Sindicato Amanda Jofré (RedLACTrans)
- Colombia – Asociación Lideres en Acción
- Colombia – Caribe Afirmativo
- Colombia – Colombia Diversa
- Colombia – Fundación Santamaría
- Colombia – Red Comunitaria Trans (RedLACTrans)
- Costa Rica – Mulabi – Espacio Latinoamericano de Sexualidades y Derechos
- Costa Rica – TRANSVIDA (RedLACTrans)
- Costa Rica – ASOCIACIÓN CIUDADANA ACCEDER
- Dominica – Dominica Chapter of the Caribbean HIV and AIDS partnership (ChapDominica)
- Ecuador – Asociación Alfil (RedLACTrans)
- Ecuador – Taller de Comunicación Mujer
- El Salvador – Asociación Aspidh Arcoiris (RedLACTrans)
- Grenada – Grenada Chapter of the Caribbean HIV and AIDS Partnership (GrenCHAP)
- Guatemala – Organización Trans Reinas de la Noche (OTRANS) (RedLACTrans)
- Guyana – Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD)
- Honduras – Asociación para una Vida Mejor (APUVIMEH)
- Honduras – Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa (RedLACTrans)
- Jamaica – J-FLAG
- México – Letra S SIDA, Cultura y Vida Cotidiana
- México – Red Mexicana de Mujeres Trans (RedLACTrans)
- México – Fundación Arcoíris por el Respeto a la Diversidad Sexual A.C.
- México – LAS REINAS CHULAS, CABARET Y DERECHOS HUMANOS A.C
- Nicaragua – Red Nicaragüense de Activistas Trans (REDTRANS)
- Nicaragua – ODETRANS (RedLACTrans)
- Panamá – Asociación Panameña de Personas Trans (RedLACTrans)
- Panamá – Fundación Iguales
- Paraguay – Aireana Grupo por los Derechos de las Lesbianas
- Paraguay – Asociación Panambi (RedLACTrans)
- Paraguay – Asociación Escalando
- Perú – Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos (PROMSEX)
- Perú – Instituto Runa de Desarrollo y Estudios sobre Género
- Perú – Trans Organización Feminista por los Derechos Humanos (RedLACTrans)
- Regional – Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities (CARIFLAGS)
- Regional – Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Personas Trans (REDLACTRANS)
- Red de Trabajadoras Sexuales de Latinoamérica y el Caribe (RedTraSex)
- Regional – Synergía – Iniciativas por los Derechos Humanos
- República Dominicana – Comunidad de Trans Travesti y Trabajadoras Sexuales Dominicana COTRAVETD (RedLACTrans)
- República Dominicana – Diversidad Dominicana
- Lucia – United & Strong Inc.
- Sub regional – Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE)
- Suriname – Women’s Way
- The Bahamas – The D’ Marco Organization (RedLACTrans)
- Trinidad and Tobago – Allies for Justice & Diversity (AJD)
- Uruguay – Asociación Trans del Uruguay (ATRU)
- Uruguay – Colectivo Ovejas Negras
- Venezuela – Venezuela Diversa Asociación Civil
- Venezuela – Diversidad e Igualdad a Través de la Ley (DIVERLEX)