By Melanie Nathan, 03/02/2012,
Washington, D.C. – On February 24 and 25, 2012 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a meeting of independent experts on “Violence and Impunity against Lesbians, Gays, and Trans, Bisexual and Intersex Persons” (LGTBI).
More than 20 experts attended the meeting organized by the IACHR under the auspices of UNAIDS. Commissioner Tracy Robinson, Executive Secretary Santiago A. Canton, and personnel of the Executive Secretariat and the Unit on the Rights of LGTBI persons also attended the meeting.
The experts offered their opinion and information on the violence LGTBI persons in the Americas, the obstacles and challenges to overcome it and to eradicate impunity on these crimes, and several best practices in this area.
They also discussed the criminalization of relations between persons of the same sex, laws and discriminatory practices and other factors that contribute to the violence against LGTBI persons, among other topics. The role of the police and other Government agencies in charge of citizen security in the protection of this population was also studied.
The contents of the meeting are inputs for a report on the state of the rights of LGTBI persons in the region, which the Commission is currently preparing through its Unit on the Rights of LGTBI persons.
The meeting also served as a forum to explore alternatives for the participation of civil societies in the inter-American system of human rights, through the system of petitions and cases, the hearings, the requests for precautionary measures and the visits to countries, among other mechanisms.
A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.