During the month of June, organizations and institutions have drawn attention to the specific situation of the LGBTIQ+ population, when this is usually the month when millions of people around the world take to the streets in “pride marches” to fight for their rights and highlight the discrimination that this population experiences.
In this context, on June 18th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) convened a webinar under the title “Situation of the Rights of LGBTI People in the Context of the Pandemic,” with the participation of human rights defenders and activists from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, the United States and Mexico.
The Commissioner and IACHR Rapporteur for the Rights of LGBTI People, Flavia Piovesan, was the first to speak, highlighting three structural challenges in the region: extreme inequality; discrimination (the virus does not discriminate but its impact is discriminatory); and the dilemmas of democratic institutions to combat the pandemic.
Those invited confirmed the challenges mentioned by the rapporteur and also pointed out how the new confinement regulations implemented by governments have given an excuse for security forces to commit more attacks on LGBTI+ people. They reported that many people in this sector who have lost their jobs cannot return to their homes because several of them fled domestic violence due to not being accepted into their homes. With various examples, they denounced that different discriminations are experienced by people with an intersectional perspective, stressing that it is not a homogeneous population. For example, the total invisibility of bisexual people in Latin America and the absence of documentation of their situation were mentioned. The complexity and double discrimination in cases of being trans, black and Latin American women in the United States were also highlighted.
Several people specifically pointed out the serious situation of violence that trans women experience, before the pandemic and now even worse, since a food emergency has been generated, since confinement implies that several cannot do their work, cannot return home, and they find it difficult to receive financial support from the government due to discrimination and mistreatment because their identity card shows their trans identity.
In the report “Amplified Vulnerability”, Kennedy Carrillo of OutRight Action International, Belize, shared the impacts of the pandemic on the global LGBTIQ + population. Increasing food insecurity was one of the most salient issues. Topics such as interruptions in access to medical care, abuse of power by the State, fear of social violence, stigma, discrimination, social isolation and increased anxiety, as well as concerns about organizational survival, also emerged.
More information in Spanish:
Situación de los derechos de las personas LGBTI en el contexto de la pandemia; (Webinar CIDH 18 junio 2020)
Vulnerabilidad amplificada. El impacto de la pandemia del COVID-19 en las personas LGBTIQ. (Outright Acion Internacional, 4 de junio 2020)
More information from SIPAZ: