The meeting served to review the situation of LGBTI persons in the Caribbean and to promote and protect the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex (LGBTI) persons. Photo: UNDP Dominican Republic

Panama City, Panamá, May 3, 2021 – More than 500 representatives from governments, civil society, private sector and the academia from the Caribbean region, met virtually in the “Being LGBTI in the Caribbean'' Regional Dialogue organized by the United States Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Union (EU), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The meeting served to review the situation of LGBTI persons in the Caribbean and to promote and protect the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex (LGBTI) persons.

“In recent years, across the Caribbean Region, the social environment for LGBTI people has evolved in a promising direction, especially when it comes to promoting health and respecting universal human rights.” stated the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Robert W. Thomas.  “The United States applauds the efforts of the countries that join us today in this event, and we reiterate our continued support in the fight against stigma and discrimination towards LGBTI persons and other historically marginalized groups.”

The Dialogue also facilitated the exchange of good practices among participants to inform future decision-making processes and public policies. Participation of key stakeholders from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados, Haiti, and from the Eastern Southern Caribbean also enabled constructive discussions on how to encourage social inclusion of LGBTI persons.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the fragility of our systems when forced to address unexpected shocks and the inequality that permeates our societies. As States start to plan and implement recovery measures, we have a unique opportunity to address inequality and exclusion as well as gaps in social protection systems,” said José Cruz-Osorio, Manager of UNDP’s Regional Hub for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Recovery efforts must ensure that LGBTI persons can fully enjoy all human rights, access health care services, and are protected from violence and discrimination.”

In the past two decades, the LGBTI global movement has achieved impressive results in reducing discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics. Despite the positive results, violations of civil and political, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights of LGBTI people are unfortunately still very common.

“Gender identity recognition is important.  Every aspect of a trans person’s life---access to education, employment, housing, and healthcare ---depends on their ability to show a valid identity card or document that aligns with their gender identity and expression” said Trayce Serome, Counselor, Kouraj Haiti.

In almost four years, with support from the United States through USAID, the “Being LGBTI in the Caribbean'' initiative has trained and supported more than 250 human rights Organizations and 1.550 human rights defendants; and engaged over 80 CSOs in advocacy interventions. 

Media contacts:

UNDP - Alexandra Gil Taboas alexandra.gil@undp.org, cel +34 609 474 814 // Vanessa Hidalgo, vanessa.hidalgo@undp.org, cel + 16463389462

About the project - The “Being LGBTI in the Caribbean” (BLIC) project, funded by the United States Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), seeks to improve knowledge and alliances, as well as to strengthen the capacities of LGBTI organizations, civil society and States in the region to reduce existing human rights violations, inequality and discrimination faced by LGBTI individuals in the Caribbean.

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