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LGBT Voices from the UN / 2005

in ARGENTINA, 10/05/2005

Legislation exists that seeks not only to discriminate, but also, in fact to convert people's gender identity or expression into an offense.

Oral statement of MADRE – An Internatonal Women's Human Rights Organization

61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Item 14: Specific groups and individuals: (b) Minorities; (d) Other vulnerable groups and individuals.

Mr Chair

My name is Marcelo Ferreyra and as a member of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission constantly receive information from throughout Latin America stating that people are killed, raped, assaulted, beaten, and forced to receive medical, psychological or religious treatment to alter their sexuality, they are also tortured, and arbitrarily deprived of their freedom because of their apparent or real sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Indeed, in many cases, these abuses are legally endorsed. Several countries still have legislation banning or regulating consensual sexual activity between same sex adults.

In certain cases, these laws have an unfortunately wide field of application (for instance, when they forbid any sexual act arbitrarily defined as "unnatural" or "indecent".

Some laws combine sexual orientation with other offenses. In ARGENTINA, for instance, La Rioja, Mendoza, San Juan, Buenos Aires, Neuquén, and Santa Cruz Provincial Penal Codes do so under the title "SCANDALOUS PROSTITUTION AND HOMOSEXUALITY"

Legislation exists that seeks not only to discriminate, but also, in fact to convert people's gender identity or expression into an offense. Once again in ARGENTINA, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Santa Fe and Santiago del Estero Provincial Penal Codes punish those who in daily life are clothed and attempt to pass as a person of the opposite sex.

Even though we know that in many cases these laws have a colonial source or derive from restrictive period and they are been revised, their continued existence violates the rights to privacy, equality, peaceful meeting and association, participation in community life, and equality in employment and education, to be free from arbitrary arrest, life, freedom and personal safety, and not to be submitted to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.
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