- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
held a regional meeting of independent experts on the political
participation of lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual, and intersex persons
(LGTBI) in the Americas.
The meeting took place November 19-20, 2012, in
More than 20 experts, nationals of a dozen countries, attended the
More than half were openly lesbian, gay, or transgender
individuals who have been elected or appointed to posts in the various
branches of government of several countries in the region.
attended in their personal capacity.
The meeting was organized by the
IACHR, through its Unit on the Rights of LGTBI Persons, as part of the
information-gathering process for a hemisphere-wide report on the human
rights situation of LGTBI persons.
The participants presented technical information on the main challenges
and obstacles, as well as steps forward and best practices, having to do
with the rights of LGTBI persons to take part in the management of public
In particular, the meeting explored connections between
discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender
expression and the under-representation or poor representation of LGTBI
persons in publicly elected positions in the region.
about exclusion and discrimination against trans persons in the various
forms of political participation, in terms of their right both to elect and
to be elected.
They also discussed the importance of establishing alliances
with political parties and the need to generate sustainable public policies
regarding the rights of LGTBI persons.
Finally, the experts emphasized the
need to draw attention to and analyze how discrimination against LGTBI
persons intersects with other historical situations of discrimination such
as gender, race, ethnicity, poverty, childhood and adolescence, and
disabilities, among other factors.
In addition, on November 19, 2012, a panel discussion was held on
"Experiences of Political Participation of LGTBI Persons in Latin
Commissioner Rodrigo Escobar Gil gave opening remarks,
underscoring the importance of the participation of LGTBI persons in
countries' public and political life in order to build a more pluralistic,
inclusive, and just society.
A principal, autonomous body of
the Organization of American States
the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and
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