Posts Tagged 'Chile'

OAS LGBTI Core Group Statement: International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Joint Statement

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Washington, DC
May 17, 2017

Today, on May 17, the members of the OAS LGBTI Core Group (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, United States and Uruguay) are proud to join other governments and civil society organizations from around the world to celebrate the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). This year, the IDAHOT is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of families and highlight the challenge faced by LGBTI children and parents.

There has been much progress in the Americas since this day was first celebrated in 2004. We are proud to see countries of the hemisphere have taken concrete steps toward the elimination of discrimination against LGBTI persons in the past year. Education, awareness-raising and dialogue have helped tremendously in addressing stereotypes and prejudice against LGBTI persons and we encourage all countries of the hemisphere to continue these efforts.

However, as the Inter-American Human Rights Commission highlighted recently, LGBTI persons are still too often victims of discrimination and violent hate crimes based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. They are often subjected to extreme hate-motivated violence, arbitrary arrest and related killings. Moreover, in some countries of the Americas, consensual same-sex conduct between adults is still criminalized.

We understand and respect that countries are at different stages of acceptance and engagement on this issue. However, we should never forget that the human rights of all persons are universal and indivisible, and these include the human rights of LGBTI persons.

We believe that May 17 is a day we can all come together and continue our dialogue and collaboration with all OAS member states and civil society organizations to help bring an end to discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons.

Freedom House lists “LGBTI Victories in the Western Hemisphere” as a Best Human Rights Development in 2012

In an article on the Huffington Post website on December 31, Freedom House listed its best and worst human rights developments of 2012. LGBTI victories were listed as a “Best Human Rights Development” and we agree.

There were several important victories in the battle for LGBTI rights in 2012, particularly in the United States and Latin America. A U.S. president voiced public support for gay marriage for the first time, and three states — Washington, Maryland and Maine — passed laws allowing same-sex marriage, bringing the total number of states with such rules to nine. In addition, the first openly gay woman was elected to the U.S. Senate. In Argentina, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2010, the Senate passed legislation that allows gender to be legally changed without medical or judicial approval, and includes sex-change surgery and hormone treatment in government health insurance plans. The same month, Chile passed an anti-discrimination law that penalizes all forms of discrimination. Although not specifically written to protect LGTBI rights, the measure was spurred by the brutal killing an openly gay man. Even Cuba has jumped on the bandwagon, electing its first transgender person to municipal office. Same-sex marriage is also legal in Canada and some parts of Mexico. Sadly, for all of the progress seen in this hemisphere, the situation for LGBTI people has actually worsened in much of Eurasia and Africa.

You can see the full list here.

Statement from UNHCHR on the murder of Daniel Zamudio

Daniel Zamundio

Daniel Zamudio

Statement from Rupert Colville, the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In Chile, a 24 year-old gay man, Daniel Zamudio, died on Tuesday 27 March, 25 days after being viciously assaulted by a group of alleged neo-Nazis in a Santiago park.  He was reportedly tortured for an hour by his attackers, who stubbed cigarettes out on him, carved swastikas into his body, and mutilated him in other ways.

We deplore the violent criminal act that took the life of this young man and urge the Chilean Congress to pass a law against discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, in full compliance with relevant international human rights standards.

We also urge Chile to enact hate crime legislation that establishes hatred based on various grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity, as an aggravating factor for the purposes of criminal prosecution.

The incident has sparked a public outcry in Chile, with hundreds joining vigils outside the hospital where Mr Zamudio was taken after the attack. It has also provoked a debate about homophobia and hate crimes and calls for Parliament to pass an anti-discrimination law, which is currently before the Chilean Parliament, awaiting approval by the lower House. The bill was initially presented in Parliament in 2005 and has undergone much debate and reformulation.

The case should be seen in the wider context of hate-motivated violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons around the world. OHCHR’s report* on this issue, which was submitted to the Human Rights Council earlier this month, found evidence of “startlingly high levels” of homophobic violence in all regions. Examples cited in the report include physical assaults, torture, sexual violence and killings.

The killing of Daniel Zamudio is just the latest reminder of the gravity and prevalence of homophobic violence, which, as the recent OHCHR report found, exists in all regions.

This time it happened in Santiago, Chile, but it happens every day on the streets of towns and cities all over the world.

*The High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report to the Human Rights Council A/HRC/19/41, entitled “Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity” can be found at:http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/19session/a.hrc.19.41_english.pdf 

IACHR Takes Case Involving Chile to the Inter-American Court

Repost – Interamerican Commission on Human Rights

Washington, D.C., September 20, 2010 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in a case involving Chile.

On September 17, 2010, the IACHR filed an application in the Karen Atala and daughters, which concerns the discriminatory treatement and arbitrary interference in the private and family life Karen Atala experienced due to her sexual orientation. In the Merits Report 139/09, the Commission concluded that the State of Chile was responsible for the discrimination against Karen Atala in the course of judicial process that resulted in the decision to deny her the care and custody of her daughters. The case also concerns the failure to observe the best interest of her daughters, whose custody and care the Commission considered were determined in violation to their rights. The case was referred to the Inter-American Court because the IACHR concluded the State did not comply with the recommendations contained in its Merits Report.

This is the first case that the Inter-American Commission decides on discrimination based on sexual orientation. This case will allow the Inter-American Court to decide for the first time on the incompatibility of this type of discrimination with the American Convention.

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.


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