The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organisation of American States (OAS) has resolved to create a Unit on the Rights of LGBTI Persons in order to strengthen its capacity to protect their rights.

The IACHR confirmed that LGBTI people face serious discrimination, in fact and in law, and murders, rapes, and threats of violence in the region’s countries. The IACHR also recognised LGBTI people face significant barriers in their access to health, employment, justice, and political participation.

The new unit is part of a comprehensive approach the IACHR has adopted in its Strategic Plan, which promotes the harmonious development of all its work areas based on the interdependence and indivisibility of all human rights and the need to protect the rights of all individuals and groups historically subjected to discrimination.

The IACHR will evaluate the unit’s work after an initial trial year and to determine whether sufficient resources exist to make its efforts sustainable. It will then decide whether to create a permanent Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of LGBTI Persons.

The OAS’s membership includes all 35 North and South American countries.

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