Implementing LGBT rights on a national level in Latin America and the Caribbean

October 25th –November 25th

In Latin America there have been recent successes such as the historic vote this month in Argentina allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry and adopt children. In addition, Mexico City was until now the first jurisdiction in Latin America to allow gays and lesbians to marry and adopt children, a law adopted in December 2009. Brazil president for example supports the legalization of civil unions, but legislatives measures have failed to pass. All in all, in the Latin American and Caribbean region, a lot of work remains to be done in order to achieve an inclusive LGBT legislation.

To highlight existing efforts and strengthen the analysis and replication of good practices, the International Resource Network (IRN) with the support of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (ILGA) is launching a virtual dialogue and platform that will facilitate the exchange of experiences, challenges, opportunities and lessons learned between Latin American and Caribbean countries that are working on implementing a LGBT human rights perspective in national policies.

The dialogue, which will start on October 25th will foster the dynamic exchange and experiences and information between civil society activists, government representatives and UN staff with expertise, working experience, or a general interest in the subject of LGBT activism.

The objectives of the dialogue will be to identify good practices between countries and activists that are advocating LGBT rights on political, academic and social levels. The discussions provide an opportunity for participants to share knowledge, gain information and build connections for further research in the Latin American and Caribbean.

The discussion will be divided in four thematic weeks: It will be held in Spanish, but participants are also allowed to make comments in Portuguese and in English.

Participants will receive the comments posted in the discussion for four weeks in their email inbox and are able to post comments on the forum. Participants will sign up for the discussion through a listserve. Further instructions will be sent out to participants when they sign up.

There is no allocated time commitment. Participants reply to comments as they please during this time.

The results and summary will be made available to participants after the discussion and will also be published on the International Resource Network (IRN) website.

Follow up IRN discussions on similar topics are planned for next year.

Week.1: The legal situation in your country: Introduction of participants. What is the legal situation of lgbt people in your country and what organization are you working for?

Week 2: Account of recent successful experiences and proposals: (passing bills, judicial achievements, community mobilization, and advocacy) What has been achieved in your country? Discussion questions can be: What is the present situation of public policies for LGBTI in your specific country? Tell us how your country managed to pass certain legislations? What specific strategies were achieved? How can political consensus be achieved? What have been the main barriers? How has legal recognition of same sex civil unions been achieved? What are the lessons learned?

Week 3: Networks Exchange of experiences, progresses and challenges: The importance of networks. Can we create a Latin American LGBT network?

Week 4: The United Nations in LGBT policies: What is the role of the UN in implementing lgbt friendly policies? What has been done? The role of the United Nations in lgbt rights. How can lgbt rights be defended in multinational agencies? If you are a UN member working on lgbt rights, what has your organization done?

For further information contact Jasmin Blessing: