Press Release

Inter-American, African and UN Human Rights Experts to Hold Dialogue on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics

March 23, 2018

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will host a dialogue with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and United Nations human rights experts, to discuss matters concerning human rights through the lens of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics at the IACHR headquarters in Washington DC from 26 to 28 March 2018.

The dialogue will identify good practices in each system, discuss strategic approaches and concrete measures to overcome current challenges and ways to increase collaboration between the Inter-American and African Commissions, and the UN human rights system, to better prevent and address human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, and other human rights issues of common interest. 

Flavia Piovesan, Rapporteur on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people at the Inter-American Commission, stated that “this is an extraordinary initiative by these two key regional human rights bodies and the UN, which will allow the sharing of good practices, challenges and perspectives, in order to strengthen the efforts to combat violence against LGBTI people, as well as the promotion of equality as an inseparable element of human dignity.”

The dialogue is the second in its kind.  The first dialogue, hosted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in November 2015, began the process of developing south-south cooperation between the two Commissions and the United Nations on this issue. 

During the forthcoming dialogue, the experts will explore human rights violations faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex persons, as well as the intersections with other human rights concerns such as violence against women, the situation of human rights defenders, the rights of children, prevention of torture, killings, deprivation of liberty, freedom of expression and economic, social and cultural rights.

“Our three systems have many things in common, among them the duty to raise awareness of the levels of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Holding in-depth discussions about root causes and best practices will help us to make progress toward eradicating these unacceptable human rights violations,” said Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender diversity.

The dialogue is taking place with the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Development Programme and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.


OHCHR: For more information, please contact Michael van Gelderen (+41229289355 / [email protected])
IACHR: Maria Isabel Rivero (+1 202 370 9001 / [email protected])
ACHPR: Secretariat ([email protected])

No. 058/18