IACHR found about violation of LGBTQ+ rights by Jamaican govt

The Inter- American Commission on Human Rights IACHR established a life-changing decision reported Wednesday that Jamaica's government is accountable for violating the human rights of two of its residents within the LGBTQ+ community.

IACHR found about violation of LGBTQ+ rights by Jamaican govt
IACHR found about violation of LGBTQ+ rights by Jamaican govt

Jamaica: The Inter- American Commission on Human Rights IACHR established a life-changing decision reported Wednesday that Jamaica’s government is accountable for violating the human rights of two of its residents within the LGBTQ+ community.

The Human Dignity Trust (HDT), a charity comprised of international lawyers championing LGBTQ+ rights, brought the case in 2011 on behalf of two people. Gareth Henry is a gay man who, after enduring police brutality and repeated and horrifying attacks by homophobic gangs and mobs, solicited asylum in Canada in 2008. 

A policeman beat Henry while a crowd of 200 people stood by. Simone Edwards is a lesbian who was compelled to flee Jamaica after being shot multiple times outside her house in 2008. The two perpetrators needed to kill her and her brothers, one of whom is gay. After the administration continually failed to protect them, Edwards was given asylum in Europe.

The commission found the Jamaican management responsible for violating humane treatment rights, privacy, ease of movement and residence, equal protection, and judicial security set down in the American Convention of Human Rights. 

It suggested that the Jamaican authority provide full reparation, including economic benefit, to Henry and Edwards. It also called for homophobic laws to be abolished immediately (sections 76-79 of the offenses against the Person Act, 1864). 

There is no lawful protection against discrimination in the country, and, for that reason, the committee called for an anti-discrimination legal framework. 

It is suggested that the administration gather statistical data on violence and discrimination based on gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and body diversity; train public officials; and give a whole sexuality education inclusive of sexual and gender variety. It also called for administering the standard of due diligence.

Henry and Edwards had fought that the laws prohibiting “buggery,” or anal sex, and “gross indecency”—portions of the colonial era—violate their rights and legitimize brutality against LGBT persons.

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