Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the recent creation of the Core Group on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Persons (LGBTI) of the Organization of American States (OAS). The group is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, and Uruguay.
The IACHR notes that in the LGBTI Core Group’s first joint statement, adopted on June 15, 2016, in the framework of the 46th OAS General Assembly, the founding States commit, among other things, to support the implementation of mandates contained in OAS resolutions on human rights, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. The Core Group also commits to support regional and OAS efforts aimed at ensuring that all people can exercise their right to live free from violence and discrimination, recognizing the need to address the multiple forms of discrimination they face due to different factors. The IACHR also is pleased to note that on May 18, 2016, the OAS Permanent Council commemorated the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
In its Report on Violence against LGBTI Persons in the Americas, the IACHR recommended to the States that they issue positive public statements regarding LGBTI persons whenever possible, and noted the importance for the States to defend, protect, and promote the human rights of LGBTI people. In this sense, the IACHR welcomes these types of initiatives and statements that promote the human rights of all people, without any discrimination whatsoever based on non-normative sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It urges the rest of the OAS Member States to promote a culture that is respectful of the human rights of LGBTI persons.
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 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.