Since the Universal Declaration in 1948, human rights have been one of the three pillars of the United Nations, along with peace and development. We have a right to LIFE. We have a right to speak freely and participate in decisions about our country and bodies. We have rights to privacy and justice. We have a right to education. We all have a right to live free from all forms of discrimination. We have a right to health care, economic opportunities and a decent standard of living.
Today we take the time to celebrate the advances and acknowledgement of the principles of the Universal Declaration. We also acknowledge how this is being tested in the Eastern Caribbean, especially Saint Lucia.
We note that crime, violence and discrimination continues to imperil us all, especially minority populations. This includes the community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex people or those of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.
Today we stand in solidarity with the community in Trinidad as we plead for justice for Sadia in Saint Lucia and Sasha in Trinidad. ANY LIFE lost to violence is unacceptable. We need to continue raising our voice as leaders in human rights advocacy to ask for swift justice, due process, accountable and transparent processes in these cases but most importantly, that justice is served.
On this Human Rights Day, we acknowledge the brave human rights defenders, media and advocates across the Caribbean who give of themselves, who work everyday to improve life for others.
Today, we call on the elected leaders we have voted for and given a mandate, to protect and serve all its citizens, which include LGBTQI citizens. We call on you to take steps to ensure just and sound processing of the many outstanding cases of suspicious death and ensue the public security and justice systems are more effective and efficient.
We celebrate Human Rights Day 2017 with a pledge to continue working toward a fairer, safer and better world for all. We ask every single person to stand up for all human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural.
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Let’s end stigma and end isolation to end AIDS
ECADE, the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality, was among thirty LGBTI activists across Latin America and the Caribbean that convened to monitor language of human rights and engage the Inter-American System. Saint Lucia, Guyana, Belize and Jamaica were also represented at the 48th OAS General Assembly, held on June 2-5, 2018, in Washington DC. As a coalition we have worked for eleven years in the OAS system. Prior to 2007, there was no advocacy in the Inter-American system that advanced human rights protection of persons on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics/intersex status (SOGIESC).
(Castries, June 7, 2018) This is the 70th year since the creation of the Organization of American States (OAS) in which thematic coalitions were invited to reflect about OAS development in the Americas. We saw allies integrate a message of equality for all and opponents promote messages that violate human dignity and undermine human rights of LGBTI citizens in the Americas. We saw a coalition of church leaders diverge with the religious rights position of exclusion and marginalisation on thematic issues about democracy, gender and security that fell short of their respect for diversity or equal treatment of LGBTI citizens in the Americas.
(Castries, December 1, 2017) As we mark World AIDS Day 2017, we do so with the realisation that the goal of ending new HIV infections and controlling AIDS is within sight. Recent studies confirm a drop in the number of new HIV cases and an increase in diagnosis and treatment. Still, the Caribbean is lagging behind much of the developed world in that regard.
Stigma, discrimination and criminalisation remain some of the biggest barriers to achieving targets to end new HIV infections and end AIDS. HIV infections in Latin America and the Caribbean remain at 120,000 new infections per year and while 64% of people living with HIV in the Caribbean know their status, very few are open about their HIV/AIDS status.
The LGBTTTI Coalition has also published, along with this press release, a summary of the Advisory Opinion, with the aim of highlighting some of the main standards that have been developed by the Inter-American Court. The Advisory Opinion includes standards that have been advocated by non-governmental organizations that are part of this Coalition for decades in the countries of the region, with varying degrees of success.
Read the full report here...
(Castries, May 17, 2018) It is a particularly poignant time in the Caribbean to mark the International day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 May. The IDAHOTB global theme, “Alliances for Solidarity” is particularly resonant as this is the very foundation of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE).
“The IDAHOTB theme is a timely reminder of our shared destinies and indeed our shared histories”, says ECADE Executive Director, Kenita Placide. She notes, “The intersectional approach that we take in our work reflects the intersectionality that is a reality of our individual lives. Just as our lives cannot be lived in isolation, our movement does not survive in isolation. Support of and from allies is not only a necessary but a welcomed part of our advocacy.”
ECADE Celebrates Alliances on IDAHOTB 2018
(Castries, December 10, 2017) Today, the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) joins the global family in commemorating Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes the equality and dignity of every human being and stipulates that every government has a core duty to enable all people to enjoy all their inalienable rights and freedoms.
The laws that criminalise LGBTQI people effectively encourages discrimination and violence, and restricts access to services and facilities that is the right of every citizen to enjoy. ECADE recognises that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community needs alliances to counter discrimination in education, health services, employment and even the justice system.
IDAHOTB 2018 is an opportunity for the Caribbean community at the individual, organisational and state level to acknowledge and support LGBTQI+ friends, family and colleagues. ECADE recognises that the human rights principles underpinning our advocacy as a collective of LGBTQI+ organisations, are the same the fuel many movements for equality and justice within the Caribbean. This shared ideological foundation is the basis of advocacy that thrives on building alliances across movements.
The April 2018 Jones v Trinidad and Tobago ruling that buggery and gross indecency laws are unconstitutional, which continues to ripple across the region, also highlights the need for collaboration across the physical borders of our islands.
The Coalition of LGBTTTI Organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean that work within the framework of the OAS,1 composed of the undersigned organizations, commend the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the recognition of the human rights of transgender persons and same-sex couples, as affirmed in its Advisory Opinion 24/17 dated November 24, 2017 and published on January 9, 2018.
With this historic Opinion, the Inter-American Court recognizes that the human rights obligations of States vis-à-vis the principles of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, include the obligation to recognize families composed of same-sex couples and the right to gender identity. This Opinion reinforces the urgent need of States in the region to adopt measures to ensure both formal and substantial equality of persons with non-normative or diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions in the Americas.
The Advisory Opinion of the Court reaffirms what the social organizations of the LGBT movement have been promoting for decades in the countries of the region: that we are rights’ bearers, and that the States owe us the full recognition, guarantee and respect of our rights without discrimination.
Statement on the occasion of Human Rights Day 2017
Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality
ECADE Calls Elected Leaders To Protect And Serve All Citizens
World AIDS Day campaign
Members across the eastern Caribbean and secretariat staff
LGBTTTI LAC Coalition Congratulates The Inter-American Court
Notes positive action on *trans' and same-sex couples' rights