Belize C.C.P.R 124 session: The Power of Political Pressure

October 16th, 2018

Belize got decriminalization decision On August 10th, 2016, but we did not get government to respect the decision in full. The result, is that the Government of Belize has tempered its effort with a partial appeal, not for legal reasons, but a political one. At the 124 session of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Geneva, the Belize delegation struggled to address the question posed by The Human Rights Council on LGBT issues in the first session.

They mentioned work on anti-discrimination, but fail to mention that the cabinet note that was given to them for refinement has been stuck at the Attorney General Office for many months. Granted, the Deputy Solicitor General left in the middle of the process.  They mentioned that there was a comprehensive legal review of the immigration act, that the International Organization on Migration was helping with the review,  but failed to tell the committee if a deadline was set on finalization of review.  A questions…

CSO Containment or Complicity: PANCAP as a Regional Mechanism

11th October, 2018

An estimated 1.86 m people are living with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean. L.A.C countries has spend $1.59B up to 2011. In 2017, The Caribbean region estimated that 310,100 persons were living with HIV and  there were 15,000 new infections and 10,000 deaths. With 11 of the 16 countries in the Caribbean relying heavily on external foreign funding, no ideas of the mortality rates of men who have sex with men, no study on the economic loss of loosing 200,000 people in the region in the course of the epidemic, discussions, have been going in circles about addressing human rights violations.
While the region, must be applauded for setting up PANCAP to address a health response, as a mechanism to address human rights concerns for L.G.B.T, Sex workers, substances users, prisoners, it has not have much luck advancing the substance of rights. We know that Jason Jones case was not supported by Global Fund Process and that section 53 did not begin within the PANCAP proc…

The E.R.C: Small economies, L.G.B.T.I Economic Empowerment & Civil Rights Framework

23rd August, 2018

After the Equal Rights Coalition (E.R.C)meeting in Vancouver, member states communique was shared that included language to engage the private sector. It said,"We commit to strengthen relations with the private sector and to work together to foster in all sectors of society, including the workplace, the human rights of L.G.B.T.I persons.." The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce mission defined economic empowerment in is mission as," when an individual or community has an equality of opportunity to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the formal economy."  Indicating a level of systemic thinking and language coordination.

But what does this mean in historical practice? Though, L.G.B.T.I economic empowerment exist within a global systemic context of legal threats, it is because of our concern about our economic standing that we fought so hard to ensure that civil rights advancements were made at the national level. Currently, there are 17…

The Perfect, Imperfect Evolution of The Equal Rights Coalition as a mechanism

August 9th, 2018

When Belizean L.G.B.T.I colleagues hear The Equal Rights Coalition (E.R.C.) mechanism, immediately, it generates questions about its value to Belize's national L.G.B.T.I concerns.  When we consider 2,343 trans persons murdered around the world alone in 9 years, according to the T.M.M. 2017 Press Release; 202 murders of L.G.B.T.I people that occurred in Mexico alone between 2014-2016; 445 occurring in Brazil in 2017 and  the 54 murders & attempted murders and suspicious cases (14) adding up to 68. The E.R.C. means nothing to the dead victims. 
While states in the E.R.C. may have many human rights issues impacting their citizenry, governance structures like the judiciary, opposition parties, constitutional frameworks have not devolve to exclude L.G.B.T.I citizenry from seeking redress or deny that fundamental rights does not apply to them.  It is under this context the E.R.C  exists as an imperfect  political human rights mechanism on L.G.B.T.I issues. Though i…

Dear CARICOM Ministers

June 22nd, 2018

As a Belizeans and a citizens of CARICOM I write with concern about the comments political leaders have made in recent years. I believe it was Bruce Golding who once said," not in my cabinet!" in 2011 on the BBC when ask if he would allow homosexual to serve in your cabinet. In 2018, it was former speaker of The House, Micheal Carrington, in Barbados who said, "“If she is gay she should come out and say so and let you know what we are getting as a Prime Minister. .." referring to the Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Motley. Former Minster Denzil Dougal of St. Kitts& Nevis has been caught making  homophobic statements calling his opponent Timothy Harris, a  " little girl" and a "hog" joking that Harris begged him to" breed" him in April, 2013 at a rally. People were heard yelling," batty man hog." so much for principled leadership.
At The UN Commission on the Status of Women negotiations, state representat…

LGBTTI Coalition Celebrates Adoption of 2018 LGBTTTI resolution at the OAS

Washington DC, June 14, 2018

The Coalition of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, Transsexuals, Travestis and Intersex (LGBTTTI) people of Latin America and the Caribbean working within the framework of the Organization of American States (OAS) celebrates the adoption of the Omnibus Resolution on Human Rights (OEA/Ser.P/AG/CG/doc.5/18 rev.2), which includes section (xii) focusing on the “human rights and prevention of discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons,” during its 48th Regular Session of the General Assembly, which took place in Washington DC, June 4 and 5, 2018.

During this Dialogue we saw an increasing number of allies integrate a message of equality for all and acceptance of sexual and gender diversity, including a newly established coalition entitle…

Giving LGBT Visibility, through National Action, CHOGM and TCEN in 2018

16th May 2018

I will be the first to say that The Commonwealth, as an institution, was perceive as useless, as it operates with political leaders who have had no qualms of jailing, hanging, beating, murdering it own citizens. There is no enforcement mechanism and no redress mechanism. The only moments of exception was when South Africa had to withdraw from the Commonwealth in the 1960's while Pakistan was suspended in 2007 along with Fiji in 2009. As a system its, does not consistently follow its own principles of Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Tolerance, Respect and Understanding among others. Proof of this, points out that leaders in Africa have made many homophobic remarks like the President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, " even cows disapprove" of homosexuality in 2017 following a crackdown on gay men in his country while in 2014, former Gambian, President Yahya Jammeh said "We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same w…