Fighting for transgender rights in Latin America

On 7 June the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution on human rights, sexual orientation, and gender identity that reaffirms the commitments of member states made in the previous three resolutions on the issue.

It also instructs the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to undertake studies on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and on the legal implications of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, together with the Inter-American Judicial Committee.

‘War on drugs’ is failing

What does that mean for HIV prevention?

The Alliance has welcomed the new report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy that launched this week, which clearly outlines a series of recommendations on how to deal effectively and humanely with illicit drug use and people who use drugs.

The report (which can be downloaded here) condemns the current ‘war on drugs’ strategy as failing. The approach has resulted in thousands of people jailed for the act of using drugs, and is described as ‘inefficient and ineffective’ in the report. The report highlights the need to start treating drug dependency as a health issue.

EU failing to commit to HIV response

As the negotiations on the Outcome Document for the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS progress, it appears that the European Union does not wish to commit to any time-bound and measurable targets, including treatment targets.

The EU is also failing to commit to a fully funded Global Fund against HIV, TB and Malaria, and refuses to address trade barriers and legal obstacles to the provision of affordable treatment in low and middle income countries. If the EU maintains these positions, the HIV response will certainly be severely weakened.
Please take action and ask governments to renew their commitments

If you can, please send a personalised email with these concerns to the EU delegation negotiator ([email protected]) and the European Commission Focal point for HIV ([email protected]).

Fore more updates on the High Level Meeting see this page.

Violence against transgender people in Latin America

A young transgender woman named Cheo was found stabbed to death in Colonia de Tegucigalpa in Honduras on 2 January this year. Shockingly, this is only the latest in a worrying trend of hate crimes against transgender people in Latin America.

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance supports transgender groups through linking organizations in El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean. In each of these countries, we have witnessed an increase in cases of intimidation and violence, in some cases leading to murder. The Alliance previously called attention to the murder of 13 transgender people in Guatemala last year.

According to Transgender Europe, between January and June 2010 the world’s media reported 93 cases of the murder of transgender people. Eight out of ten of these murders (74 cases) occurred in Latin America.

The vulnerable position in which transgender populations find themselves in their daily lives often hinders the efforts of the leaders of transgender groups to reach their communities in order to implement measures for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.

‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ urges governments, legislators, international agencies and civil society organizations working in human rights, sexual diversity, health and HIV/AIDS to coordinate their efforts urgently to support the transgender community in these countries and to demand that the governments concerned guarantee the protection of this community and ensure that all these cases are investigated.

You can join the ‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ discussion on Twitter by following @theaidsalliance and using the hashtag #prevHIV.

You can also stay up to date with the campaign via the Alliance’s Facebook page.