Posted June 11th, 2012
COALITION OF LGBTTTI ORGANIZATIONS WORKING IN THE OAS
CELEBRATE THE APPROVAL OF THE FIFTH RESOLUTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY
The Coalition of LGBTTTI Latin American and Caribbean organizations, formed by groups belonging to more than 23 countries expresses in this communiqué its assessment of the activities of the 42nd General Assembly of the Organization of American States, which took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia on June 3rd-5th, 2012.
This Assembly adopted the fifth resolution AG/RES. 2721 (XLII-O/12) “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” Such resolution, which is the result of the long term advocacy of the group, includes all the issues contained in the previous resolutions, calling on member states to introduce measures against discrimination and human rights violations and to implement public policies. Furthermore it requests the IACHR to prepare a study on legislation and provisions in force in the OAS member states restricting the human rights of individuals by reason of their sexual orientation or gender identity and to prepare, based on that study, guidelines aimed at promoting the decriminalization of homosexuality”.
About the Coalition’s activities
Beyond the resolution that has been formally adopted, the Coalition celebrates the consolidation of its space as civil society component after five years of advocacy work within the OAS and in the region, before, during and after the General Assemblies.
In the days that preceded the 42nd General Assembly, the Coalition organized a parallel event in preparation for the advocacy and participation within the OAS. The main discussion topics were: (a) implementation of the resolution “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”; (b) Interaction with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (with specific focus on thematic hearings); (c) Interaction with the Commission on Juridical and Political Affairs; (d) Advocacy in the negotiation process of the draft Convention against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance; (e) Advocacy with member states.
During the two days, invited participants included Jorge Sanin, director of the Department of International Relations of the OAS, who highlighted the importance of the commitment of the LGBTTTI civil society in all processes of the OAS and the increasing visibility of the issue within the OAS, particularly with reference to the Hemispheric Forum.
The Coalition met MP Gladys Prieto Moreyra, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of the Bolivian Parliament, and MP Saul Limbert Garabito, member of the same Human Rights Commission. They both welcomed the Coalition, expressed their commitment on the rights of LGBTTTI people and, in particular, their support to the Law on Gender Identity, that has been recently endorsed by the Vice-Minister of Justice and will be sent for discussion to the Bolivian parliament in the next days.
Also, the Coalition had a meeting with Mr. Darío Paya, ambassador of the Republic of Chile before the OAS, who spoke about the need that society move forward in the inclusion and respect for diversity, and congratulated the Coalition for his presence at the OAS.
During the informal dialogue with the Secretary General of the OAS and the civil society in San Salvador, six delegates of the LGBTTTI coalition addressed to Secretary General José Miguel Insulza their concerns regarding the undue influence of religion on states and the weakening of the principle of secularity; violence and discrimination that LBTTTI women suffer within their own families and communities; hate crimes and discrimination, particularly in the English-speaking Caribbean; the need of recognition of gender identity for travesti, transgender, transsexual and intersex people; the need of completing the negotiation process of the Convention against Racism and all Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance; and the importance to consider the proposal for a Convention on Sexual and Reproductive Rights advanced by civil society.
Mr. Insulza confirmed the OAS commitment to fight for recognition of the rights of LGBTTTI individuals and the need to move forward in the negotiation of the Inter American Convention against Racism and all Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance. He also committed to facilitate a meeting between member states, civil society and the Inter-American Commission on the issue.
The dialogue between Civil Society and the Heads of Delegation of the OAS Member States took place on June 3rd. Raiza Torriani, Bolivian trans activist, was the spokesperson for the LGBTTTI Coalition. The full text of the speech is published below. In her intervention, Raiza made reference, with particular emphasis, on the situation of LGBTTTI people in the English-speaking Caribbean, mentioning each member of the Coalition in attendance from that region, which stood up calling the attention of the Heads of Delegation and the audience. As result of this action, the state representatives of St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago expressed their concerns on the issues and committed to raise the question to their respective governments. The representatives of Brazil and Argentina also expressed their commitment of their countries on the rights of LGBTTTI people.
We welcome the increasing interest for the work of the coalition that represents an acknowledgment of the work carried out in these years.
We thank COC Netherlands, UNAIDS, UNDP, MamaCash and the Campaign for an Inter-American Convention on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, and Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights for their support to make our participation to this General Assembly possible.
The participants of the Coalition of LGBTTTI Organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean within the OAS were:
1. AIREANA - Camila Zabala – Paraguay,
2. ASOCIACIÓN LIDERES EN ACCION -Germán Rincón Perfetti - Colombia,
3. COALITION ADVOCATING FOR INCLUSION OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION – Kareem Griffith – Trinidad and Tobago,
4. COLECTIVA MUJER y SALUD, Claudia Saleta – Dominican Republic,
5. COLECTIVO UNIDAD COLOR ROSA – Claudia Spellmant – Honduras,
6. TALLER COMUNICACIÓN MUJER, Tatiana Cordero - Ecuador,
7. AIDS FREE WORLD - Maurice Tomlinson – Jamaica,
8. MULABI-COSTA RICA – Natasha Jiménez – Costa Rica,
9. ORGANIZACIÓN DE TRANSEXUALES POR LA DIGNIDAD DE LA DIVERSIDAD – Andrés Rivera Duarte – Chile,
10. ORGANIZACIÓN TRANS REINAS DE LA NOCHE – Johana Ramírez – Guatemala,
11. GRUPO IDENTIDADE RED AFRO LGBTI – Marcos Cesar Gomez – Brazil,
12. RED LATINOAMERICANA Y DEL CARIBE DE PERSONAS TRANS - Marcela Romero- Argentina,
13. RED NICARAGUENSE DE ACTIVISTAS TRANS – Silvia Martínez – Nicaragua,
14. SOCIETY AGAINST SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION- Namela Rowe - Guyana,
15. UNIBAM – Caleb Orozco – Belize,
16. WOMEN’S WAY – Tieneke Sumter – Suriname
17. TRANSREDBOLIVIA TREBOL - Raiza Torriani - Bolivia