OutRight Joins Discussion on the Progress of LGBTIQ Human Rights in Latin America


On November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Permanent UN Missions of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador and Uruguay, joined by OutRight Action International and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, discussed the progress of human rights for LGBTIQ people in Latin America at a special event at UN Headquarters in New York.

Tracy Robinson, Rapporteur on the Rights of LGBTI PersonsTracy Robinson, Rapporteur for the Rights of LGBTI persons Inter-American Commission kicked off the event which featured the world premiere of Daniela Mercury's new music video for the UN Free & Equal campaign, the LGBTIQ-focused initiative of the UN body. The recorded livestream of the event can be found on UN Web TV where you can watch Belissa Andia, a partner and Peruvian activist speak on the state of transgender human rights. 

OutRight Executive Director Jessica Stern, in her remarks, urged the Latin America delegation to commit to six actions to move progress forward for LGBTIQ people in the region:

  • Explicit language on LGBTIQ rights in domestic, regional and UN initiatives. “Please don’t duck the power of language in the CSW [Commission on the Status of Women] in bullying resolutions, in torture resolutions, or anywhere else,” she said.
  • Fight for civil society to be at the table to help guide domestic, regional and international policy development.
  • Noting that the LGBTIQ community faces a “frightening fracture” between international commitments and local implementation in defense of LGBTI rights and guarantees, she urged: “We can and must do better.”
  • While governments in the region are increasingly very supportive of LGBTIQ rights, she urged that policies be institutionalized by state governments, to avoid any risk of a backlash.
  • Development of an action timeline for GRULAC (Caribbean and Latin American regional UN group) leadership to keep LGBTI rights on the formal agenda of the UN Human Rights Council and throughout the UN system.
  • In Sustainable Development Goals, make certain that no one is left behind in public statements. Stern said: "We (LGBTI people) exist in every word of the documents. We need your commitment to affirm our firm belief.”

Below are photos from the event and the premiere music video by Daniela Mercury:

UN Free and Equal Event