Friday, June 10, 2011

OAS LGBTTI Declaration-San Salvador-June 2011


Mister Secretary General, Ministers, Members of the Official Delegations, Civil Society 

We, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Travesti, Transsexual, Transgender and Intersex organizations, convened in San Salvador, El Salvador on June 2 and 3, 2011, in accordance with the directives established by the General Assembly of the OAS in its resolutions AG/RES.2092(XXXVO/05); CP/RES.759(1217/99); AG/RES.840(1361/03); AG/RES.1707(XXX-O/00) and AG/RES.1915(XXXIII-O/03), which determine a regulatory framework to enhance and strengthen civil society participation in OAS activities and in the Summit of the Americas process

We fully share the concern for ensuring that citizen security must concretely constitute the basis for full and sustainable development of human rights for every individual.  However, we express our concern as the draft  Declaration “Citizen Security in the Americas” focuses on issues related to organized crime rather than crimes experienced in daily life. The majority of killings, serious assaults, sexual abuses, and other crimes against the individual are the result of bias and vulnerability associated with gender violence; discrimination against afro-descendant and indigenous people; sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; xenophobia; disability; migrants, displaced people and other vulnerable groups. 
Additionally, we express our concern for the lack of visibility we suffer by the omission of any reference to specific security needs of LGBTTTI people, despite being especially affected by the consequences of violence and crimes caused by homophobia, lesbophobia and, most of all, transphobia; contravening the content of the Resolutions 
“Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” adopted in 2008 (AG/RES. 2435 (XXXVIII-O/08), 2009 (AG/RES. 2435 (XXXVIII-O/08) and 2010 (AG/RES. 2600 (XL-O/10). Every year thousands of children and adolescents in the region are expelled from their homes because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. They are victims of attacks by State security organs as well as by non-state actors. They are excluded from education, access to dignifying work, health, social security, and the most elementary rights as citizens, particularly sexual and reproductive rights. 
The most serious concern relating to citizen security is the situation of transsexual, travesti, transgender men and women. Being particularly affected by stigma, deprived of the right to personal identity based on their social name and identity, without which the exercise of most rights are simply impossible; excluded from any public policy; carrying the huge risk of suffering the worst forms of social, economic and labour segregation. Located at the margin of any real opportunity, many of them find in prostitution the only means of survival, which aggravates the circle of marginalization and poverty, as well as a risk to personal security.  
Crimes committed against LGBTTTI people are made invisible in official data on criminality. Investigation authorities rarely complete their investigations. Courts of law are often carried away by bias that does not allow  access to a just and inclusive judgment, that occasionally is favorable to the perpetrator. The majority of victims prefer not to report crimes committed against them  because of fear of suffering harassment, maltreatment or institutional victimization.  
We applaud the significant progress in equality legislation, case law and regulations in several countries of the region in the last year. However, we are concerned that the same progress is not occurring in all countries simultaneously. At this point in almost all English speaking Caribbean countries same sex intimacy is still criminal. We denounce religious beliefs constantly interfering with human rights, which contributes to 
worsening issues of citizen security for LGBTTTI people.
We denounce that the process of negotiation of the Draft Inter-American Convention against Racism and all Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance is basically dormant, if not close to failure, which would mean losing the opportunity to address the issues mentioned above.  
We are concerned  that the implementation of policies that are aimed  at repressing criminality in society often have the effect of worsening the vulnerability situation of LGBTTTI people.  
Therefore we demand: 

To the Member States:  
1. To introduce in their laws clear norms to effectively criminalize hate crimes; to repeal laws that criminalize same sex intimacy; to  fight against discrimination in every area. 
2. To establish effective and speedy mechanisms for the integral recognition of legal identity of transexual, trangender, travesti and intersex individuals, based on their names and perceived gender identity, without need for genital surgery nor of pathological protocols.  
3. To implement adequate, integral and transversal public policies to fight stigma, exclusion and segregation of individuals on grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; as well as ensure their effective protection from violence.  
4. To consider the proposal for an Inter-American Convention on Sexual Rights and Reproductive Rights. 
To the General Assembly: 
5. To approve the draft resolution CP/CJP-2951/11, Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity presented by the Brazilian delegation, whose initiative we fully endorse. 

We are not dangerous. We are in danger!
AG/RES. 2653 (XLI-O/11) 
(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 7, 2011) 
2504 (XXXIX-O/09), and AG/RES. 2600 (XL-O/10), “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and 
Gender Identity”; 
That the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that all human beings are born 
free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms 
set forth in that instrument, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, 
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status; and
That the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man establishes that every 
human being has the right to life, liberty, and the security of his person without distinction as to 
race, sex, language, creed, or any other factor; 
CONSIDERING that the Charter of the Organization of American States proclaims that 
the historic mission of the Americas is to offer to man a land of liberty and a favorable 
environment for the development of his personality and the realization of his just aspirations; 6 
REAFFIRMING the principles of universality, indivisibility, and interdependence of 
human rights; 
TAKING NOTE of the Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 
presented to the United Nations General Assembly on December 18, 2008; and  
NOTING WITH CONCERN the acts of violence and related human rights violations as 
well as discrimination practiced against persons because of their sexual orientation and gender 
1. To condemn discrimination against persons by reason of their sexual orientation 
and gender identity, and to urge states, within the parameters of the legal institutions of their 
domestic systems, to adopt the necessary measures to prevent, punish, and eradicate such 
2. To condemn acts of violence and human rights violations committed against 
persons because of their sexual orientation and gender identity; and to urge states to prevent and 
investigate these acts and violations and to ensure due judicial protection for victims on an equal 
footing and that the perpetrators are brought to justice. 
3. To encourage the member states to consider, within the parameters of the legal 
institutions of their domestic systems, adopting public policies against discrimination by reason 
of sexual orientation and gender identity.  
4. To urge states to ensure adequate protection for human rights defenders who 
work on the issue of acts of violence, discrimination, and human rights violations committed 
against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. 
5. To request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to pay 
particular attention to its work plan titled “Rights of LGTBI People” and, in keeping with its 
established practice, to prepare a hemispheric study on the subject; and to urge member states to 
participate in the report. 
6. To ask the IACHR and the Inter-American Juridical Committee each to prepare 
a study on the legal implications and conceptual and terminological developments as regards 
sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and to instruct the Committee on 
Juridical and Political Affairs to include on its agenda the examination of the results of the 
requested studies, with the participation of interested civil society organizations, before the 
forty-second regular session of the General Assembly. 
7. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its fortysecond regular session on the implementation of this resolution. Execution of the activities 
herein shall be subject to the availability of financial resources in the program-budget of the 
Organization and other resources

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