Have you been discriminated against
because of your sexual orientation or gender expression
when you went to the doctor? • by your employer or coworkers? • by the police? • in your school? • by a landlord? • in some other way?
Have you felt afraid or unsafe
on the streets? • in your neighbourhood? • in your home?
Have you been physically threatened, or attacked?
Have you been taunted or harassed?
These are violations of your human rights!
CAISO is travelling to Washington DC
to report on violations of gay/lesbian/bi/trans people’s human rights in Trinidad and Tobago
at a special hearing before the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights
We need to know your stories
Stop by this Saturday, have lunch, learn more about the InterAmerican human rights system, and have our volunteer human rights professionals document your story confidentially
Saturday 11th September
12:00 noon to 5:00pm
4 O’Connor Street, Woodbrook
street beside the Stadium
(blue two-storey building opposite Woodbrook Youth Facility
upstairs of the doctor’s office)
Call ahead: 758-7676
As we approach Emancipation Day, the international celebration of one of the biggest and longest human rights struggles ever, gspottt turns our attention, in a series of pieces over the next several days, to questions of human rights.
Since late last year, GLBT groups in Trinidad & Tobago have deepened our participation in a coalition of 17 Latin American and Caribbean organizations and networks that since 2007 has been working on gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation issues in the Inter-American Human Rights system, in partnership with Global Rights, a human rights advocacy group in Washington DC. Next weekend we will update you on our participation in the OAS (Organization of American States) 39th General Assembly meeting in Honduras last month, and what the T&T Government promised to do there.
Through this Latin American coalition and another, Commonwealth-focused one, Trinidad & Tobago citizens and our organizations are part of ongoing collaborative efforts to advance human rights for GLBT people and address the ways in which the criminalization of same-sex intimacy in our laws violates those rights.
On October 24 of last year, the Latin American and Caribbean coalition was granted a hearing by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the first time in its history that the Commission (which has been in the news here of late) held a thematic hearing on human rights violations related to gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation. The specific focus of the hearing was on the intersections between discrimination and violence based on gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation, and other forms of intolerance, namely those based on gender, age, socio-economic status and race/ethnicity.
The presentation to the Commission on the Anglophone Caribbean by human rights lawyer (and former T&T resident) Joel Simpson focused on the region’s sodomy laws and their impact on human rights. The violence many in the gay community here are aware has happened, largely unchecked, to many local users of a well-known website was raised before this international forum in order to illustrate how in Trinidad & Tobago these laws prevent victims from seeking justice. The presentation also drew attention to the intersection between our sodomy laws and access to health.
T&T Police and Ministry of National Security officials had no response when the pattern of attacks was brought to their attention in January 2008. (more…)