Escobar Correa, asesora para la inclusión – Equipo ODS
Today, 28th of June of 2018, we commemorate 50 years of the International LGBTI Pride Day. On this day, the riots that occurred at the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village in New York City in 1969, where the LGBTI community revolted against police raids, are recalled. These riots, which lasted for weeks, mark a before and after in the struggle for the rights of the LGBTI community. According to Mark Segal, an LGBTI activist who lived through the Stonewall riots, “the magic and the spirit of Stonewall was created by the Gay Liberation Front” an activist movement formed after the Stonewall protests, and to which many of the achievements in the struggle for LGBTI rights are owed. (Salam, 2019).
This struggle persists, today the LGBTI community continues to be discriminated and the exercise of their rights to education, health, housing, justice, among others, continue to be a challenge. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development takes relevance today, as member states committed “to leave no one behind«. This means that the 17 objectives and 169 goals cannot be achieved without the inclusion of all people, particularly of those who are the most marginalized.
The report entitled «For all the Sustainable Development Goals and LGBTI Persons» (2019) launched by The Swedish National association for Sexual Equality (RFSL), explains the relationship between the LGBTI agenda and the 2030 Agenda. It establishes six different dimensions of development that are relevant to LGBTI people: health, education, poverty, safety, family and legal recognition of gender, and it links these dimensions with different SDG´s and their targets. For example, in the health dimension it underlines as some of the main problems of the LGBTI population, the limited access to health services due to the stigma and discrimination of many health care providers, the lack of gender-specific health services, as well as the lack of services oriented to satisfy the sexual and reproductive health of lesbian women and the hormonal therapies demanded by trans people.
This dimension is represented in different parts of the Agenda, but especially in the SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) that addresses different targets related to barriers faced by LGBTI people. Concerning the safe dimension, the report highlights how violence against LGBTI people is well recognized and how authorities are unresponsive and may be perpetrators of violence against this community. This problem is represented in SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and strong institutions) in targets (16.1, 16.3, 16.10, 16.b), for example, target 16.1 states “Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere” and target 16.b establishes the need to «Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development”.
Colombia, mainly through strategic litigation before the Constitutional Court has constructed a legal framework for the exercise and protection of LGBT people’s rights. The Constitutional Court has recognized different rights for same-sex couples: the right to an equal marriage (Decision C-577 of 2011, SU-214 of 2016), economic rights (Decision C-075/07), right of affiliation to the security system (Decision C-811/2007), right to survivor’s pension (Decision C-336/2008), right of adoption (Sentence C-683/15), among others. In addition, there has been a recognition of trans peoples’ gender identity, the non-discrimination policies in educational institutions, the rights of LGBT victims of the conflict and the protection of discrimination against LGBT people, among other rights
(Caribe Afirmativo; Colombia Diversa, 2017).
However, LGBT people rights violations is a fact. According to Colombia Diversa and Caribe Afirmativo, in 2017 109 LGBT people were murdered, of these 109 murders, 41 were committed based on of gender prejudice, 8 had a different motive and for the remaining 60, their motives are still unknown. Likewise, according to Colombia Diversa y Sentiido (2016), in a survey conducted in 2016 to LGBT students, 67% stated they felt insecure at school because of their sexual orientation (gay, lesbian or bisexual). Despite the fact that the 2015 National Survey of Demography and Health provided data on the sexual orientation and gender of the people interviewed, as well as question concerning discriminatory incidents in different spaces such as schools or health services – there are still information gaps surrounding LGBT people. According to RFSL (2019), is essential to get to know the population and have data on its state of development in different areas such as health, education, employment, violence, among others.
In the United Nations Development Program – UNDP, we are working on actions that aim to protect LGBT people’s rights and the achievement of SDG 3 ( Good Health and Wellbeing) and SDG 16 (Health and Welfare) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and strong institutions) Particularly, we are part of the inter-institutional project for Combined HIV Prevention, in which, together with the Pan American Health Organization – PAHO and the United Nations Population Fund – UNFPA will launch a pilot project in the city of Bogotá for transgender women and men who have sex with men (MSM) so that they can access the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and self-test interventions for HIV prevention.
Moreover, we are leading the exchange of best practices on the investigation of crimes against LGBTI among different prosecutor’s office of Latin America, so they can strength their research capabilities. Finally, we are working on a project with Colombia Diversa and Ombudsman Office (La Procuraduría General de la Nación) that seeks to protect the right to access to justice of the LGBTI community through the construction of a protocol that provides the tools for the intervention of judicial prosecutors in judicial process where those involved are members of the LGBTI community.
Undoubtedly, the LGBTI community has made important progress in claiming their rights. In the United Nations we are committed to sustainable and inclusive development that leaves no one behind. Today, on the international day of LGBTI pride, the voice will rise again to ask governments, the private sector, academia, society in general and international cooperation work together to put an end to the disparities that hinder access to opportunities and slow down development.
Caribe Afirmativo; Colombia Diversa. (2017). LA DISCRIMINACIÓN una guerra que no termina: Informe de derechos humanos de personas lesbianas, gays, bisexuales y trans en Colombia 2017. Bogotá.
Colombia Diversa y Sentiido. (2016). Encuesta de Clima Escolar LGBT en Colombia. Bogotá.
Profamilia. (2015). Encuesta Nacional de Demografía y Salud . Obtenido de Profamilia: https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR334/FR334.2.pdf
RFSL. (27 de 27 de 2019). LGBTI Inclusion in Development Policy and Agenda 2030. Obtenido de RFSL: https://www.rfsl.se/en/organisation/international/principles_agenda2030/
Salam, M. (4 de 06 de 2019). 50 Years Later, What We Forgot About Stonewall. Obtenido de The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/04/us/stonewall-riots-gay-pride.html