Founded in 1978, ILGA is the only international non-governmental community-based association focused on the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as a global issue, being a global network of national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people and free them from all forms of discrimination. As part of its tasks, the Association supports programs and protest actions, exercises diplomatic pressure, and contributes with information and work for international organizations and media.
Any organization interested in working for LGBTI equality rights can apply to become a member of ILGA. Currently, the global network is comprised of 1,044 organizations from 117 countries, and is organized geographically in the following regions: New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands; Africa; Asia; Europe; North America; and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Now, with the opening of its office in the City of Buenos Aires, Latin America and the Caribbean becomes the second region in the world to have its own headquarters, after Europe. Among other tasks, the new regional headquarters will improve communication and networking with over 250 member organizations, present in all countries of the region.
Regarding this important institutional growth, Pedro Paradiso Sottile, Regional Secretary of ILGALAC, said: “This is a landmark for ILGA and all its regions in the world, as well as for the global LGBTI community. In Latin America and the Caribbean, we’re starting a new institutional phase which is a major challenge and also a great opportunity to strengthen our work and commitment towards equality and the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and their expressions. We are proud of the path that’s been followed by all member organizations in our region, and also of the choice of Argentina to be the host our regional office, which is a country that is leading the laws and public policies for inclusive LGBTI global citizenship, and supporting this regional initiative. "
Also, Gloria Careaga, ILGA’s General Co-Secretary, said: “To open an office for one of the most important regions of ILGA is an important recognition, precisely because of the advances that have taken place in the region. This way, through the institutionalization of the region, we formalize a tool to make way for the construction of a regional agenda and to continue taking steps to leave a mark for the protection of the rights of LGBTI people in the region and in the world. I appreciate the work done by the members of ILGA in Latin America and the Caribbean and the support of the Argentine government to make this happen”.
Latin America and the Caribbean is a vast region with a diversity of cultures and regulations that directly impacts on the LGBTI rights, which status differs markedly among nations, as the ILGA State-Sponsored Homophobia 2013 report and its maps show. It can be said that the Latin America countries are among those leading the worldwide promotion of LGBTI equality, thanks to the laws or judicial decisions that have taken place in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico City, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay. However, there’s still some hard work ahead of us, focusing on the eradication of prejudice, the so-called traditional values, religious and political fundamentalism -which have terrible consequences such as hate crimes-, criminalization of homosexuality, and with special emphasis on the fight against State homo/lesbo/transphobia, which is still entrenched primarily in the countries of Central America and the Caribbean.
ILGA Contribution to UN and OAS
ILGA has consultative status into ECOSOC, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, which allows it to be an active participant in all the conferences and meetings of the Organization, providing greater visibility to the struggles of its members, helping them ask their governments on LGBTI rights, or campaigning for LGBTI organizations’ access to speak on their own behalf in the UN forums, participating in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), among other possibilities.
In order to enhance its promotional work at the United Nations, the Association is moving its global operations from Brussels to Geneva during the spring of 2014. Also, from Latin America and the Caribbean, ILGALAC has been developing a joint work with the Unit for the Rights of LGBTI People of the Human Rights Inter-American Commission (IACHR) in the OAS. This collaboration will also be provided to the new Special Rapporteur for the Rights of LGBTI people, also from the same organization, that it will begin its functions next year in Washington.
ILGALAC Regional Office
Address: Córdoba Avenue, 4123 Stage 1 – (C1188AAH) Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone/Fax: +54 11 48643716
Web: www.ilga.org / www.ilga-lac.org
Countries in the region ILGALAC
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua , Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
ILGA World Office
Address: Rue de la Charite 17 – (1211) Brussels
Phone: +32 2 502 2471
Address: Rue de la Navigation 11/13 – (1211) Geneva
Phone: +41 22 906 4042
Regional Office of ILGA-Europe
Address: Rue Belliard straat 12 – (B-1040) Brussels, Belgium
Phone: + 32 2 609 54 10
Fax: + 32 2 609 54 19
Web: www.ilga.org / www.ilga-europe.org