Post submitted by Kerry Brodie, former HRC Global Press Secretary

A new report released this week details the violence against the LGBT community in the Americas and urges member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) to fulfill their obligation to document and take a stand against anti-LGBT violence and hate.

The report, "An Overview of Violence Against LGBTI Persons," was published by the Inter-American Commission on Human Right and documents violence against LGBT people in the Americas from January 2013 through March 2014.

This Commission noted that even though the 35 OAS member states have an obligation to report on such crimes, most do not do so. Therefore, the Commission itself took on the task, using newspaper articles, civil society reports and other data to compile a Registry of Violence. The report explained that this could be useful in understanding  the “diverse and pervasive forms of violence experienced by LGBT persons in the Americas.”

The report documented at least 770 recorded incidences of violence against LGBT people in 25 countries. However,  that number could possibly be much higher, as reporting on these types of incidents is often limited, and most likely these crimes are committed in all the 35 member countries of the OAS.

The specific form of violence against the LGBT community varies from the murder of trans men and women, to brutal beatings, and other cruel actions taken against LGBTI people. However, according to the report, “the common denominator of this violence is the perception by the perpetrator that the victim has transgressed accepted gender norms.”  

The report, as well as HRC, calls on OAS member states to document this kind of violence, to combat it, and to offer protection for LGBT people.

Filed under: Hate Crimes, International

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