by Rex Wockner
INTERNATIONAL NEWS #738
The General Assembly of the Organization of American States unanimously adopted a resolution condemning human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity June 3.
Human Rights Watch praised the move and called on the 34 OAS member nations to ensure that the resolution is implemented.
“This resolution is a bold first step toward ending violence and discrimination,” said Scott Long, director of HRW’s LGBT Rights Program. “For the resolution to have an impact, concrete changes in law and policy must follow.”
The OAS adopted the Brazil-sponsored “Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity” during its 38th session in Medellin, Colombia.
The nations also agreed to hold a special meeting “to discuss the application of the principles and norms” of the inter-American system to abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
More than 20 GLBT activists from 16 Latin American and Caribbean organizations met with OAS members during the session to advocate for the resolution.
In a separate process, OAS nations are negotiating the text of a proposed Inter-American Convention Against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories.
The resolution that was adopted expresses concern about violence and human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, asks a key OAS committee to address the topic before next year’s session of the General Assembly in Honduras, and urges the organization’s Permanent Council to report to the Honduras gathering on implementation of the resolution.