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UNIBAM Challenges Belize at OAS Human Rights Commission Hearing

In addition to facing legal challenges from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community to the country’s sodomy laws in the Supreme Court and its immigration laws before the Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize is now facing a human rights challenge before the Inter-American Commission on Humans Rights (IACHR) – a challenge led by United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), the same NGO which had petitioned the Supreme Court to have the law criminalizing sodomy struck off the country’s law books.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

2nd May 2014 21:53

Alessia Valenza

The State of Belize was summoned to appear in Washington, DC, USA, before the IACHR—an instrument of the Organization of American States (OAS)—on the morning of Friday, March 28, 2014, after UNIBAM petitioned for a human rights hearing in which the NGO is demanding that the Government of Belize implement measures to protect the rights of the LGBTI community in Belize.

UNIBAM is also demanding legislation to sanction persons for what it calls “hate crimes” and “hate speech” against LGBTI persons. It claims violation and discrimination in health, education and employment, and major security concerns for LGBTI persons – citing the recent January 2013 murder of Joseph Sanchez, a transgender individual who police said was killed in the process of an aggravated robbery by two men, although UNIBAM had wrongly called it a hate crime.

The summons to Belize from the IACHR was not made public by Belize officials, and neither did the Government of Belize report on the Washington hearing.

Read the complete article.