Gay, lesbian, bisexuals, trans and intersex persons have historically been discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and body diversity, and continue to be victims of discrimination, violence, persecution and other abuses; which infringes on their human rights protected by international and inter-American instruments.
In performing its mission, particularly during onsite visits to countries and through public hearings, the Commission has received ample information on the situation of the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexuals, trans and intersex persons in the Americas, and in particular, the serious discrimination and violence these persons face on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Sources of information, including oral and written information presented during public hearings, information received during on site visits, and petitions and requests for precautionary measures received by the Commission, and in general, information collected by different actors in the System, point to an initial working theory that systemic problems faced by these persons in the region include: criminalization, high rates of violence and related impunity, discrimination in access to health and justice services and access to education, the labor sector and political participation, as well as exclusion and invisibility of these violations.
Thus, the IACHR included in its Strategic Plan, the Plan of Action 4.6.i which specifically addresses the rights of these persons. During the 141st Period of Sessions in March 2011, the IACHR decided to give special thematic emphasis to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex persons (LGBTI).
In November 2011, in the context of its 143rd Period of Sessions, the IACHR created a specialized Unit within its Executive Secretariat. Which became completely operational on February 15, 2012.
The Rapporteurship on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Persons (LGBTI) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) became fully operational on February 1, 2014. The Rapporteurship continues the main lines of work of the LGBTI Unit addressing issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and body diversity.
This meaningful decision to establish this Rapporteurship reflects the IACHR’s commitment to strengthen and reinforce its work in protecting, promoting and monitoring the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex persons.