In Haiti, the United Nations finally pledges protections for LGBT

Published: October 1, 2011

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has won an important comittment for Haitian gay and HIV+ people, its Executive Director, Cary Alan Johnson, has said.

Johnson said that Nigel Fisher, humanitarian coordinator for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti has "pledged to help elevate the voices" of LGBT and HIV-Positive Haitians, "so their demands are met in the rebuilding process."

Fisher was speaking to hundreds of AIDS policy experts at the North American Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit, 22 September.

    “People living with or affected by HIV and AIDS, or gay and transgender minorities, they are still left out in the cold,” said Fisher.

    “So I can say to the summit organizers: You’ve already done two things in bringing me here. One, you’ve raised my awareness by inviting me. But, two, you’ve allowed me to meet with . . . Haitian advocates here. And we’ve already come up with some ideas about how we can work together once we return to Haiti.”

Following the January 2010 earthquake rhetoric blamed LGBT people for bringing the “wrath of God upon Haiti.”

IGLHRC worked with SEROvie, Haiti’s men who have sex with men (MSM) Community Organisation, extensively in the months after the earthquake to document the secrecy, isolation, discrimination and violence that Haiti’s already vulnerable LGBT population was facing. With them they produced a report titled ‘The Impact of the Earthquake, and Relief and Recovery programs on Haitian LGBT People’, which proposed guidelines for the UN, governments, civil society organizations, and human rights groups to protect the human rights of LGBT people in disaster situations.

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