Press Release

IACHR Congratulates Argentina for Passing Provincial Quota Job Law for Trans Persons

October 30, 2015

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) congratulates the State of Argentina for establishing a minimum quota of at least one percent of trans persons for jobs in the public sector in the Province of Buenos Aires.

The law, passed in September 2015, states as beneficiaries those trans persons who meet the conditions of eligibility for the position, such as minimum work and education requirements, regardless of whether they have been beneficiaries of the gender identity law. Those public officials who fail, partially or in full, to comply with this law will incur in serious misconduct or poor performance.

According to the information received by the IACHR, violence and discrimination against trans children and trans youth begins early, when they are expelled from their homes, schools, families and communities by their teachers and families, because of their gender identity. Transgender persons face poverty, social exclusion and high rates of lack of access to housing, pressing them to work in highly criminalized informal economies, such as sex work or sex for survival. As a result, transgender persons are profiled as dangerous, making them vulnerable to police abuse, criminalization and to be imprisoned. Trans persons that come from historically disadvantaged ethnic or racial groups may be more vulnerable to get into this cycle of poverty and violence.

The Commission considers that initiatives such as this one, are essential steps on the path to social inclusion of transgender persons, and urges States to continue adopting protective measures, including legislative and public policy in favor of trans, lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex persons. These types of measures seek to encourage trans persons’ access to public areas and to further the exercise of their economic and social rights. These measures contribute not only to reduce the levels of poverty faced by trans persons, but also to reduce homicides and police violence as a result of reducing the number of trans persons working in criminalized informal economies, and bringing down stereotypes and prejudice related to gender identity.

The Commission welcomes these types of initiatives and invites other OAs Member States to adopt measures to protect and guarantee the rights of trans persons with respect to access to employment, and thus, for the exercise of other economic and social rights, as a means to prevent poverty, violence and discrimination faced by trans persons in the region. The Commission also urges States in the region to take effective measures to prevent violence against transgender persons, including those engaged in sex work.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 122/15