Brazil: The Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights - Call for Letters to Brazilian Officials

See IGLHRC's Revised 2005 Action Kit and April 2003 action alert: United Nations: A resolution on "Human Rights and Sexual Orientation," for background information on the Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights.

SUMMARY

IGLHRC has recently learned from colleagues at Human Rights Watch and the Associação Brasileira de Gays, Lésbicas e Transgêneros - ABGLT (Brazilian Association of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender people) that the government of Brazil is in critical need of support in order to continue as the lead sponsor of the Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights.

The Brazilian government will decide whether or not to go forward as the lead sponsor of the Resolution by the end of November 2004.

Please join the Associação Brasileira de Gays, Lésbicas e Transgêneros - ABGLT, IGLHRC, and Human Rights Watch in encouraging the government of Brazil to sponsor the Resolution and continue its courageous work to raise the issue of sexual orientation, gender identity, and human rights in international fora.

A broad coalition of activist organizations has been working to advocate for the passage of this resolution and for sexual rights in general. For a list of NGO Coalition partners, please see p. 18 of the 2005 CHR Action Kit.

ACTION

Activists and NGO organizations are urged to:

  1. Send letters supporting Brazil's leadership on sexual rights to the President and Foreign Ministry with a CC to the Geneva UN Mission:
  • Congratulating the Brazilian Government on adopting a domestic policy for a “Brazil without Homophobia” and encouraging them to extend their position on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and human rights in international fora;
  • Thanking the Brazilian government for its commitment to the resolution on sexual orientation and human rights in 2003 and 2004;
  • Asking that the government continue to bring the resolution before the Commission in 2005 and invite other countries to co-sponsor the resolution;
  • Assuring the government that it will have the support of activists and NGOs such as yours worldwide;
PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL:
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Palacio do Planalto, 70150-900 - Brasilia - DF, Brazil, Fax: 55-61-224-0289/55-61-411-2222
FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY:
Minister of State for Foreign Relations, Ambassador Celso Amorim, Fax number: +55.61.411-6993, celsoamorim@mre.gov.br

In faxing or emailing the Minister, please send a copy to:

GENEVA UN MISSION:
Ambassador SE Luiz Felipe de Seixas Correa, UN Geneva Mission, mission.brazil@ties.itu.int
NEW YORK MISSION TO THE UN:
Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mission of Brazil, 747 Third Avenue 9 th Floor, New York, NY 10017-2803 USA, Fax: (212) 371-5716, E-mail: delbrasonu@delbrasonu.org
  • Sign a petition in support of the Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights available on the ILGA website at: http://www.ilga.org/brazilianresolution/petition.asp?LanguageID=1
  • Reach out to a wide range of allies, including NGOs, intellectuals, artists and domestic and international media in order to draw attention to the resolution and sexual rights more broadly at the UNCHR.
  • Refer to the Revised 2005 Action Kit on Sexual Rights and Sexual Orientation at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights for background information and a list of actions that individuals and organizations can take to advance sexual rights at the UNCHR in 2005.
  • MODEL LETTER

    (In Portuguese followed by an English translation)

    Caro/Cara Sr./Sra.

    Nos queremos transmitir-lhe nossa profunda apreciação pele liderança do Governo Brasileiro no apoio aos direitos humanos de lésbicas, homens gays, bissexuais e transgêneros que possam assegurar que estas pessoas possam viver livres de discriminação, violência e outros abusos. Em particular nos congratulamos pela adoção do Programa Brasil sem Homofobia e pedimos que estendam este compromisso progressista ao trabalho desenvolvido na arena internacional.

    Neste contexto, agradecemos também pela liderança desempenhada pelo Brasil ao patrocinar a Resolução sobre Orientação Sexual e Direitos Humanos, inicialmente em 2003, e em seguida em 2004.

    Como o Sr/Sra sabe, está resolução histórica é um instrumento crítico para a proteção dos indivíduos contra abusos relacionados a sua condição de gênero e sua sexualidade. Mais de 80 países contam com leis que criminalizam as relações sexuais entre pessoas adultas do mesmo sexo com capacidade de consentimento, e pelo menos oito países punem estas práticas com a pena de morte. Uma coalizão global de ativistas e ONGS, incluindo-se a nossa organização, considera esta resolução como uma peça chave na promoção dos direitos humanos de todas as pessoas, independentemente de sua orientação sexual.

    Mesmo compreendendo as pressões que estão sendo feitas sobre o governo brasileiro, nos fazemos uma apelo no sentido de que elas sejam mitigadas pela via da busca de co-patrocínio da relação por parte de outros países.

    Nos cumprimentamos o Brasil pelo seu trabalho corajoso no sentido de legitimar as questões de orientação sexual, identidade de gênero e direitos humanos nos fóruns internacionais e fazemos um forte apelo de o governo brasileiro use toda e qualquer oportunidade neste mesmo sentido.

    Sinceramente,

    [Name]
    [Organization]


    English Translation

    Dear Sir/Madam

    We wish to convey our profound appreciation to the Brazilian government for its leadership in supporting the human rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people to be free from discrimination, violence and other human rights abuses. In particular, we wish to congratulate you on promoting the policy of “Brazil without Homophobia” and ask you to continue to extend this progressive commitment in your work in the international arena.

    In this context, we are grateful for your leadership in bringing the Sexual Orientation and Human Rights resolution to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, first in 2003 and then in 2004.

    We are writing now to urge you to continue to take leadership on this important human rights issue and encourage you to bring the resolution before the UNCHR in 2005.

    As you know, this historic resolution is a critical tool for protecting individuals against sexuality and gender-related abuses. More than 80 countries have laws which criminalize sexual relations between same-sex consenting adults and at least eight countries punish such behavior with the death penalty. A worldwide coalition of activists and NGOs, including our own, view this resolution as a key building block for promoting the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation.

    While we understand the pressures that the government of Brazil is facing, we urge you to mitigate them by drawing on the support of other countries to co-sponsor the resolution.

    We commend the Brazilian government for its courageous work in raising the issue of sexual orientation, gender identity, and human rights in international fora and we strongly urge you to continue to take every opportunity to do so.

    Sincerely,

    [Name]
    [Organization]

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION

    If Brazil decides to move forward and continue as the sponsor of the Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Human Rights, this will be the third year in a row that the Resolution comes before the Commission on Human Rights.

    Even seven months after the 2004 Commission session --where debates about sexual orientation and human rights proved intense-- the UN Mission in Geneva continues to receive weekly letters and e-mails condemning the Resolution. Our sources suggest that the chances of the Resolution making it onto the 2005 agenda remain in question. Encouragement and support is urgently needed to counter the mobilization of regressive forces working to oppose the Resolution and sexual rights in general.