CARICOM leaders are being urged to stop paying lip service and act on ensuring the human rights are in place as they relate to a resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

The Heads of Government are meeting in St. Lucia where several regional civil society organisations called on them to fully join the Inter-American human rights system and to implement the OAS General Assembly resolution.

Among the recommendations in the SOGI is that states “consider, within the parameters of the legal institutions of their domestic systems, adopting public policies against discrimination by reason of sexual orientation and gender identity” and “consider signing, ratifying, or acceding to, as the case may be, the inter-American human rights instruments”.

A release issued by Guyana’s Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) noted that the annual OAS SOGI resolution has been supported by every Caribbean state for the past five years.

“Other citizens in the Americas have all these human rights protections guaranteed by Inter- American regional instruments and mechanisms that millions of CARICOM citizens simply do not enjoy,” SASOD’s Joel Simpson said.

“One has to wonder how committed our leaders are, when the region is so underdeveloped in terms of human rights. Human rights protections are part of citizen security.”

The groups joining SASOD were the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA), Caribbean Forum for Liberation of Genders and Sexualities (CariFLAGS) and the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC).

The advocates also protested what they said was CARICOM’s marginalisation of civil society participation in regional governance and demanded a greater voice in contributing to the future of the Caribbean.

CARICOM doesn’t yet have the simplest structures for routine civil society participation, unlike most other regional institutions,” Trinidad-based Colin Robinson of CariFLAGS was reported as saying.

However, they noted that the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) is one  of  the  few  regional  mechanisms  that  has  genuinely  sought  to  include  civil  society  in  its governance.

It was pointed out that PANCAP takes note of the resolution and it is now up to the regional politicians to act on it.

 

Source: demerarawaves

by kwesi Isles