IACHR and International Experts Issue Statement on Challenges Faced by Forcibly Displaced LGBTI Persons

May 16, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and various Treaty Bodies and United Nations experts issued a Joint Declaration on the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). They urge States to urgently address the deep-rooted causes of forced displacement based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to enable dignified and safe conditions for displacement in both transit and reception areas.

The Joint Declaration addresses the specific vulnerability of LGBTI persons who cross national borders into countries where they face violence, xenophobia, racism, and other rights violations. The document further stresses the challenges of mobility in contexts where the orientations and identities of LGBTI persons are criminalized and where their family ties are not recognized for reunification purposes. It highlights the situation of internally displaced persons, who lack access to the assistance provided by institutions who mostly support asylum seekers from other countries. Finally, this Joint Declaration notes the importance of taking measures to educate societies on diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity, in order to eradicate discrimination and social stigma.

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 and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. 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 residence.

No. 104/22

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