IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. - UN Human Rights in the Americas and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed their concern over the increase in stigmatizing narratives that incite hatred, legitimize discrimination, and even encourage prejudice-based violence against LGBTIQ+ persons. These pronouncements were made by certain political, community, and religious, and media groups and leaders. They are creating stereotypes, breeding prejudice, and promoting the harassment of LGBTIQ+ people and those who defend their rights, including during elections and moments of political tension.
Of particular concern are the acts of violence that have been documented against LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders, who are attacked, threatened, harassed, arbitrarily arrested, and/or detained, and who are exposed to smear campaigns.
The high levels of impunity around such discrimination and violence create a space in which violence against LGBTIQ+ people is perpetuated, as do the discriminatory statements made by authorities.
We call on States to publicly reject public hate narratives and wish to remind them of their obligation to enact laws prohibiting discrimination against all groups of people. At the same time, we urge States to investigate acts of violence promptly, seriously, and impartially, and to consider sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, and sexual characteristics and advocacy work to defend these as possible motivations for these acts.
We recognize the particular vulnerability of trans, nonbinary and gender-diverse people, and we wish to once again express our commitment to working with States on initiatives that promote the legal recognition of gender identity that is consistent with the rights of all people to an equal, nondiscriminatory identity and the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
Finally, we express our solidarity with the fight of LGBTI people and celebrate the activism that has advanced the construction of a safer, fairer, and more equal world.
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.