The designation of June as international pride month, in addition to the other dates that LGBT movements have given in each country to celebrate pride, are not protocol events, but a reminder of the struggles of LGBT movements against prejudice , stigma and violence, to honor those who are no longer here and to take stock of what has been achieved and what is pending.
In this context, we want to make some joint reflections on the situation of LGBT people in the Americas.
We recognize and celebrate the legal and social progress that has been made in the Americas with respect to the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities. Several countries in the region have enacted gender identity laws, laws that recognize LGBT families through adoption, access to assisted fertilization and the recognition of co-maternal and co-paternal filiations, equal marriage laws and also public policies related to work, health and education to begin to reverse the historical structural exclusion of LGBT people.
However, there is still a long way to go to avoid situations that negatively impact the lives of LGBT people.
Cases of extreme violence against LGBT people continue to be frequent throughout the region and States must do more to respond to these attacks. Greater emphasis is needed on the development of public policies for the prevention of this violence: verifying the number of victims is an indicator, but not a solution. We urge the implementation of effective protection systems for people at risk, public campaigns to confront prejudice and stigma, and the reform of judicial systems so that they guarantee an equitable approach and can comply with reparation and assistance to victims.
We also want to draw attention to the delicate situation of migrants who are violated or stigmatized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The lack of identity documents consistent with their gender identity exposes trans people to greater difficulties and violence when migrating.
Couples and families made up of LGTB people see their right to family reunification violated as migrants in many countries of our region. Many of these people flee poverty and violence due to prejudice in their countries of origin to receive more of this violence from the States to which they arrive and even from other migrants.
Poverty, which has increased in the Americas and in the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, hits LGBT people as a consequence of structural exclusion from education and formal employment.
We urge the States to commit to the implementation of social policies to address poverty that are not only focused on the heterosexual nuclear family model, but also recognize the diversity of families and of coexistence and care arrangements for all people.
Sex work, in addition to being a source of income in regular situations, constitutes a livelihood for sectors of the LGTB population and women, especially when the economic situation worsens, as is the case in Latin America and the Caribbean after the COVID-19 pandemic.
We urge States to respect and guarantee the human rights of sex workers, who continue to be exposed to police violence, lack of labor and social rights, and high levels of poverty.
Partial progress can be observed, but there are also worrying setbacks in the region with regard to full compliance, guarantee and possibilities of exercising sexual and reproductive rights, including for children and adolescents.
We request that where there are still laws that penalize consensual sexual activity between adults based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, the necessary regulations be harmonized with the instruments of the Inter-American System. Likewise, we invite the States to continue ratifying the Inter-American Convention against all Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance as a key instrument to guarantee the fulfillment of human rights in our region.
We salute the decision of Peru, host country of the next 52nd General Assembly of the Organization of American States, to have taken as the motto for the Assembly “Together against inequality and discrimination”, which invites us and commits the OAS, the States that comprise it and civil society, to continue making progress in making the Americas a region of full respect for the human rights of all people.