Washington, D.C., June 30, 2021. – The Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) launched on June 30, 2021 a report titled, “La deuda pendiente con la población Afro-LGBT en Brasil, Colombia, Perú y República Dominicana” (“The Pending Debt to the Afro-LGBT Population in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and the Dominican Republic”) with the aim of highlighting the violence and discrimination faced by this community on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, and to contribute to the adoption of public policies for the recognition and guarantee of their rights.
This report is the result of systematized documentation carried out by Race and Equality based on reports presented by six partner organizations: Instituto Transformar Shelida Ayana and Rede Afro LGBT, from Brazil; Somos Identidad, Fundación Arco Iris de Tumaco y Conferencia Nacional de Organizaciones Afrocolombianas (C.N.O.A.), from Colombia; Ashanti, from Peru, and Trans Siempre Amigas (TRANSSA), from the Dominican Republic.
“With this report we seek to generate a conversation within the LGBTI+ movement and Afro movement to make visible the problems faced by Afro-LGBT people. We need to talk about racism within the LGBTI+ community and the LGBTIphobia within the Afro movement. Not only should we talk about inclusivity, but we must also show it and that starts with having these conversations,” said Zuleika Rivera the LGBTI Program Officer at Race and Equality.
For Narciso Torres, coordinator of Gender Equity and Sexual Diversity at the C.N.O.A., an important aspect of this report is that it provides a detailed overview of the violence and discrimination suffered by the Afro-Colombian LGBT population, which leads to the awareness of this situation and for States and civil society to take action to combat and prevent these abuses. “In addition, (it helps) to maintain hope for the transformation of coexistence between all,” he contended.
Sandra Milena Arizabaleta “Sami,” Director of the Afro-descendant Foundation for Social and Sexual Diversities (Somos Identidad), affirmed that in addition to the visibility of the realities that Afro-Colombian LGBTI people endure, the report points to the creation and implementation of public policies that respond to their demands. “We hope that this report will be publicized and approached by governments, and eventually become enforced state policies,” she expressed.
“This report allows us to create a dialogue between the government, legislative and legal sectors around the conditions of the Afro LGBTI+ Brazilian population, as well as provoke the human rights commissions of Congress to act, and to present requests to international organizations when we do not obtain a response from the State concerning our demands,” shared by Janaina Oliveira, from Rede Afro LGBT.
Regarding the experience of preparing Brazil’s data for this report, Eduardo Castro, from Instituto Transformar, indicated how his organization was able to learn from the different realities of trans and Cariocan women (people born in Rio de Janeiro). “Although the nucleus of members is mostly made up of trans and afro-transvestite people, the uniqueness of each experience, the regional specificities, the negotiations narrated by the subjects involving actors such as trafficking, the police, health workers or even university colleagues, marked the diversity of these experiences,” he commented.
The report includes a series of recommendations addressed to States, civil society and the human rights mechanisms of the Inter-American and United Nations system, all aimed at protecting and promoting the rights of the Afro-LGBT population in the region. Recommendations made to States include:
- Sign and ratify the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance.
- Take measures to collect disaggregated data on the population according to ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Create new participation mechanisms and strengthen existing ones, so that Afro-LGBT people actively participate in the design and implementation of public policies that directly concern them.
As of today, the report can be accessed and downloaded from the Race and Equality website using the following link: http://oldrace.wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Informe-Afro-LGBT_May2021.pdf (In Spanish only).