The Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights works to promote racial and ethnic equality for Afro-descendant and indigenous communities – a unique focus among international human rights organizations. We work with Afro-descendant and LGBTI organizations in Cuba, as well as with a wide range of organizations in Latin America fighting racial discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
According to official data, Afro-Cubans – blacks, mulatos, and mestizos – represent 30% of the national population. Afro-Cubans experience structural racial discrimination and social exclusion that is reflected in high rates of unemployment, as well as a lack of access to housing and quality education. Independent activists and Afro-descendant human rights defenders suffer the same repression that is visited upon those who oppose the island’s regime. Their situation is worsened by a lack of access to foreign currency and opportunities in emerging sectors of the economy such as tourism and self-employment. The official position of the Cuban government is that one of the achievements of the Revolution was the elimination of racial discrimination; therefore there is an official denial of the existence of racial discrimination.
The Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights works in Cuba to strengthen the capacity of our counterparts to monitor and document human rights violations committed against Afro-descendants and members of the LGBTI community, while simultaneously increasing access to information on human rights, including information about the Inter-American Human Rights System as well as the Universal System.
The Institute also works to strengthen independent LGBTI organizations through the provision of training workshops on what is being done internationally to promote and protect the rights of the LGBTI population.
The Institute strengthens the capacity of our counterparts and the leaders of the various countries in which we work, so that they may actively participate in the OAS General Assembly, the Summit of the Americas Process, the Inter-American Human Rights Protection System, as well as the United Nations committee that monitors the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the committee that monitors the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), through the provision of training, technical assistance, and political advocacy.
- November 20 – International Day of Transsexual Memory
- October 26: International Intersex Awareness Day
- Cuban Officials Disrupt Launch of the Campaign “Jailed for What?” in the ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations
- Cuban civil society activists denounce the practice of criminalization by the Cuban State during the 169th Period of Public Sessions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
- Race & Equality Participates in the 169th Period of Public Hearings of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with Organizations from Colombia, Cuba, and Nicaragua
- Cuba denies existence of racial discrimination to the UN CERD Commitee
- International Bisexuality Day: A Day to Remember the Sexual Diversity that Comprises and Complements Our Society
- SO THAT OUR VOICES ARE HEARD AND INCLUDED! Today We Commemorate the International Day for Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean, and Diaspora Women
- The Human Rights Situation of Afro-descendants in Latin America Presents a Scenario Full of Discrimination and Collective Violence
- DID CUBA TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL DURING THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW – UPR?
- Independent Cuban Activists Inform the Inter-American Commission on Afro-Cubans’ Rights Situation
- The United Nations Reviews the Situation of Forced Disappearances in Cuba
- Cuban Human Rights Defenders Report on Rights Violations on the Island before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
- Thematic Hearing Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the Rights of LGBTI People in Cuba