Press Release

IACHR Holds Regional Meeting on the Right to Work of LGTBI Persons

October 19, 2012

Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a regional meeting of independent experts on the "Right to Work of Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bisexual and Intersex Persons in the Americas," on October 11-12 in Bridgetown, Barbados. Fifteen experts from 12 countries assisted to the meeting, as well as Commissioner Rose-Marie Belle Antoine and staff from the IACHR Executive Secretariat. The meeting was organized by the IACHR through its Unit on the Rights of LGTBI Persons.

The participants presented information and opinions on the situation of the right to work of LGTBI persons in the Americas, positive experiences on work inclusion, challenges in employment policies, discrimination in the workplace, and specific situations of informal employment and sexual work. The dialogue also involved the legislative challenges to protect and promote employment of LGTBI persons. The agenda included debates on the obstacles and opportunities that LGTBI persons confront when promoting their rights.

The contents of the meeting are some of the inputs that the IACHR will use in its regional report on the situation of human rights of LGTBI persons. In addition, the meeting allowed exploring alternatives for the participation of civil society in the inter-American system of human rights, through its petition and case system, thematic hearings, requests for precautionary measures and visits, among other mechanisms.

In addition, a panel on "Stigma and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" was held at the West Indies University Law School. Commissioner Rose-Marie Belle Antoine was the keynote speaker and the panelists debated the challenges faced by LGTBI persons in the countries of the Caribbean Commonwealth.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American 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 a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 125/12