Geneva: SERNAM Minister Meets with Civil Society Organizations and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI)

IGLHRC believes that a vital part of our mission is supporting the work of activist organizations and allies by disseminating important information on human rights issues affecting LGBT communities worldwide. To this end we are posting the statement from the Organización de Transexuales por la Dignidad de la Diversidad (OTD). Read the original posting at Ginebra: Ministra SERNAM se reúne con organizaciones Sociedad Civil e INDH.

The National Service for Women (SERNAM, in Spanish) met in the offices of the Chilean Embassy in Geneva to assess and analyze the report presented by Chile to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Present at the meeting were Ambassador Peter Oyarce, Director of National Human Rights Institute (NHRI), Lorena Fries, Humanas representatives Catalina Lakes and Mariela Infante, Andrés Rivera of OTD, Jessica Stern of IGLHRC, and other representatives of the Chilean delegation.

The invitation was made by the Minister to assess the 53rd session of CEDAW. The first to speak was Andrés Rivera who noted again the problem with Attorney Andrea Barros's response when asked by the Committee of Experts about Article 373. Rivera says that an official with an outlook so biased, and worse, poor management of the law, only hinders progress. He said that her attitude was discriminatory and unethical and that to minimize the abuses and the abuse of power against fellow transgender individuals simply because there are few cases, is unacceptable as even one case of discrimination is a human being, a life, a right violated. Humanas and NHRI supported his statement.

The Ministry did an analysis of the contents and allegations of the shadow reports. The Minister recognizes that there are cases pending, in many cases for political reasons and others due to ignorance. The Ministry agreed to establish a working group to advance all topics, independent of the "recommendations" that the State of Chile receives by the CEDAW Committee. In addition, this marks a new example of relating and respectful work, efficient and effective.

This is a translation of a press release issued by OTD – Organization of Transexuals for the Dignity of Diversity in Chile. Translation provided by IGLHRC.