A statement from PANCAP Director, Ms. Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland on the occasion of International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) 2012
- Last Updated on Monday, 21 May 2012 20:59
- Published on Thursday, 17 May 2012 11:53
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Today, the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) joins millions of fellow human rights activists around the world to observe the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).
This year the commemoration of IDAHO is crucial as we all chart the way forward towards a world where equality for all is a must and not an option.
The Caribbean, just like other parts of the world continues to face significant challenges when it comes to homophobia and transphobia. PANCAP remains steadfast in pursuing the human rights agenda and believes that there can be no credible attempts at preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS without laws, policies and programmes which promote access to persons who are most affected by the disease. In this regard, PANCAP continues to draw attention to and focus its programming on the issues surrounding most-at-risk populations, such as MSM, and Commercial Sex Workers.
Among PANCAP’s key contributions has been a comprehensive series of legislative reviews and national consultations on law and policy across the region. The establishment of the Regional Stigma and Discrimination Unit (RSDU) at the country level serves as a support mechanism in the region’s human rights and anti-discrimination efforts. PANCAP has also collaborated with UNAIDS and UWI in an innovative symposium on HIV and Human Rights in the Caribbean where the political directorate, policy makers and members of the judiciary were sensitized.
PANCAP is pleased to join the work of human rights activists and organizations by promoting that human rights are the rights of all - inalienable to just being a human. We feel people can relate to that and regardless of perspective and religious beliefs agree that sexual minorities should not be subjected to violence, abuse and vilification. This is not the face of the Caribbean – this is simply not who we are based on our historical legacy of overcoming, struggle and oppression. We are very proud of our collaborative efforts to develop model anti-discrimination legislation which seeks to prevent discrimination on the basis of gender, disability, sexual orientation and HIV status. We have found that our work has stimulated the cross fertilization of ideas and has built coalitions among women’s groups, disability councils, youth and the LGBT organizations.
I firmly believe that PANCAP needs to continue implementing the vision of the Heads of Government of CARICOM who in July 2011 set priorities for the CARICOM Secretariat to undertake work which promotes equity and social cohesion for all.