Caribbean gays going to Inter American Commission on Human Rights

Joel Simpson

Joel Simpson

Gays and lesbians across the 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom( on Friday began preparing the ground-work to file complaints of discrimination to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Co-chair of Guyana’s Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Joel Simpson told a Caribbean workshop on human rights in the Western Hemisphere that now that the General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) has been passing resolutions against violence and discrimination of persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Caribbean was preparing to gather evidence to file complainst with the IACHR.

“It’s more important to have those resolutions implemented so that it can improve the situations on the ground so that it can have a meaningful impact on peoples’ lives,” said Simpson.

He said the Argentina-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s Latin America and Caribbean and the Washington DC-based Global Rights is assisting to broaden the network of Caribbean organisations and document instances of discrimination against lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transgender persons.

They plan to apply to the IACHR to hold a special hearing on the situation in the Carbbean in October, 2010.

They plan to apply to the IACHR to hold a special hearing on the situation in the Carbbean in October, 2010.

Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Initiative at Global Rights,
Stefano FabeniStefano Fabeni

Stefano Fabeni noted that the issue of gay and lesbian rights was a politically charged issue in the Caribbean but some countrues are gradually shifting their positions.

He noted that while the Caribbean was gradually taking a more enlightened position on some issues at the OAS, the 12 former British colonies in Caricom were yet to scrap laws outlawing homosexuality and cross-dressing.

“It has been very hard to move the Caricom bloc as the 13 countries position themselves within the OAS to make sure that their positions shift,” he said.

The IACHR does not consider domestic laws on human rights but makes rulings based on the conventions to which countries are signatories. If they fail to abide by the rulings of the commission, the case could be taken to the Inter American Court of Human Rights whose judgements are ruling.

SASOD has already filed a High Court action, challenging the constitutionality of cross-dressing laws as it relates to the expression of one’s identity and freedom of expression. That legal move had followed the arrest and charging of several men who were dressed as women.

Advertisements

Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

2 thoughts on “Caribbean gays going to Inter American Commission on Human Rights”

  1. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i am satisfied to show that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much unquestionably will make sure to don?t forget this website and give it a look on a constant basis.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s