UN HRC 27: Statement on People of African Descent

Jim Ambrose at the UN

C.O.C. – Netherlands

Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent – 14th session

Delivered by Jim Ambrose, Micro Rainbow

49:10 – 51:40 / Text is below

Thank you, Madam Vice President,

This statement is also made on behalf of Micro Rainbow, an organisation that addresses the issue of poverty of LGBTI people across the world, and a coalition of Brazilian LGBTI organisations.

We would like to congratulate the Working Group for underscoring positive developments and gaps in implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action in Brazil. We would like to remind the Working Group that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons are also victims of racism and racial discrimination in Brazil, like in many parts of the world.

LGBTI people of African Descent are deeply marginalized from diverse socio-economic contexts in the Brazilian society, and remain vulnerable to poverty, discrimination, violence, sexual abuse and even murder. This is partly due to the combination of multiple layers of discrimination, not only based on race, gender and class, but also sexual orientation or gender identity, which creates a reality of massive socio-economic inequality. LGBTI people of African Descent pay a higher price to step out of this inequality.

Research and consultations with local organisations show that low-income Afro-LGBTI people, particularly the trans population, are often denied access to formal education, employment, health care, and other services. They are also subject to violence and abuses from local authorities and the police. Moreover, there is a high incidence of hate crimes committed against Afro-Brazilian trans women. Racism remains among the worst forms of discrimination and urgent measures must be taken to combat the occurrence of these phenomena against all persons, including LGBTI persons.

We call upon the Brazilian government to implement the recommendations made by the Working Group to combat racism and we further recommend that the government take effective legal and policy measures to eliminate homophobia and transphobia.

Finally, we call upon the Working Group to investigate the human rights situation of LGBTI people of African Descent in their future country visits and consult with local LGBTI organisations.

We thank you.

This statement is endorsed by the following local NGOs:

• Grupo Conexão G de Cidadania LGBT para Moradores de Favelas
Grupo Arco-Iris de Cidadania LGBT
• A Associação Brasileira de Lésbicas, Gays, Bissexuais, Travestis e Transexuais (ABGLT)