A new National Human Rights Plan 2014-2016 was approved by the Peruvian Cabinet of Ministers on July 4th, 2014. A tremendous surprise was for the LGBTI community in Peru to find out that they were excluded completely from this new human rights plan. It is important to remark that all vulnerable communities were included in this new human rights plan, but only the LGBTI community was excluded as a vulnerable community.
In the previous National Human Rights Plan 2006-2010, there were nineteen activities proposed towards the human rights of the LGBTI community in Peru. However, when it was approved, it only contained four activities and two clauses that basically blocked any recognition of human rights for the LGBTI community in Peru. Out of those four activities, the first one was partially done, and the other three were not done. These four activities were as follows:
1) Evaluate the current regulations and issue the necessary recommendations to sanction violent or degrading practices against persons based on their sexual orientation (PARTIALLY DONE).
2) Promote norms to punish degrading messages that are diffused through media against people based on their sexual orientation (NOT DONE).
3) Promote actions that include the promotion of tolerance and respect for the rights of people with different sexual orientation (NOT DONE).
4) Implement training programs on human rights for health operators to ensure that quality care services are provided, and that the rights of people with different sexual orientation are respected (NOT DONE).
CLAUSES: This protection does not extend the recognition of the right to marry between same sex couples, legalize their union or adopt children, for not being in accordance with the existing legal framework. The provisions related to this strategic objective does not affect what is established in the regulations of the military institutions in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of the Republic.
In this new National Human Rights Plan 2014-2016, eighteen activities were proposed to address human rights for the LGBTI community in Peru as of November 2012. Then, it was revised by the Justice Ministry on December 2012. Another revision was prepared by the Human Rights Viceminister from the Justice Ministry on January 2013, and finally the new National Human Rights Plan 2014-2016 was approved on July 2014 eliminating all the eighteen activities proposed to address the LGBTI vulnerable community. The eighteen activities were:
1) Promote a legislative framework that prohibits and penalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity with an emphasis on access to employment, housing, education and health care.
2) Approve a legislative framework that prohibits and penalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity with an emphasis on access to employment, housing, education and health care.
3) Adopt measures to ensure awareness to guarantee no discrimination by sexual orientation or gender identity with an emphasis on access to employment, housing, education and health care.
4) Adopt a norm that recognizes gender identity of transgender people in accordance with international standards applied to human rights, and the foundations of the Constitutional Court expressed in report number 2273-2005-PHC/TC
5) Ratify the Ibero-American Human Rights Convention of young people without reservations or interpretative statements that may involve discrimination against LGBTI populations.
6) Subscribe the declarations of the United Nations about human rights of people with different sexual orientation or gender identity.
7) Adapt the internal regulations of the Defense Ministry to repeal article 269 of the military justice code for its discriminatory character on gender identity and sexual orientation in accordance with the judgment of the Constitutional Court 926-2007-PA/TC.
8) Adapt INDECOPI resolutions to the mandates of the Constitutional Court regarding valuation of proof in cases of discrimination.
9) Implement a system for recording and monitoring violent cases, homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia and discrimination against the LGBTI community.
10) Promote inclusion in regional and local plans for equal opportunities, discrimination for sexual orientation and gender identity, and inclusion of measures to guarantee their rights.
11) Include in all norms, policies and guidelines of the Health Ministry, health needs and differentiated care protocol for people with different sexual orientations as user of health facilities.
12) Set policies and take actions of sensitization and training in comprehensive sex education directed to teachers and students to visualize the existence of children, adolescents and youth with different sexual orientations and gender identities, and how to combat discrimination, abuse and mockery perpetrated against this people.
13) Adapt annex III of law 29356, law of the disciplinary regime of the Peruvian National Police to the standards established by the judgment of the Constitutional Court of November 3rd, 2009 (Report number 00926-2006-PA/TC).
14) Promote in a coordinated way, the adoption of standardized ordinances that penalize any discriminatory conduct that prevents lesbians, gays, transgenders, bisexuals, or sex workers enjoy the fame fundamental rights of the person established in the Peruvian Constitution, national laws, that cannot be discriminated against on grounds not covered by existing laws by reason of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
15) Promote norms to punish degrading messages that are diffused through media against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
16) Implement training programs on human rights for health operators of the Health Ministry to ensure that quality care services are provided, and that the rights of people with different sexual orientation are respected.
17) Apply Yogyakarta principles on the application of International Human Rights Law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity as a guide for the elaboration of public policies based on the recommendation to the Peruvian Government in the first review cycle of of the periodic universal exam (A/HRC/8/37, recommendation 52.2).
18) Approve a legal mechanism to ensure the exercise of the right to housing through the legal recognition of couples formed by two people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity by creating a community of property to generate wealth and inheritance rights.
The elimination of the eighteen proposed activities mentioned above and all mention of the human rights of the LGBTI community in this new National Human Rights Plan 2014-2016 has been justified by the Human Rights Viceminister, José Ávila, who mentioned that the Peruvian government treats discrimination in a general way.
At the same time, Justice Ministry, Daniel Figallo, assured that homosexuals have not been excluded from the National Human Righs Plan 2014-2016, if not that an emphasis has been put on measures that protect all minorities that suffer discrimination including sexual minorities.
The new National Human Rights Plan 2014-2016 barely mentions the following: ¨Equality of gender and commitment to banish practices, concepts and language to justify the superiority of either sex and all kinds of discrimination and sexual or social exclusion¨ Then, in the whole plan, the LGBTI community does not show up anywhere.
Once again, the Peruvian government has done it. It has violated the human rights of the LGBTI community in Peru nationally and internationally. After rejecting a hate crime law in 2013 that could have protected the LGBTI community in Peru against discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, the Peruvian government has the nerve to exclude the Peruvian LGBTI community from its National Human Rights Plan 2014-2016. Basically, the LGBTI community does not exist for this Peruvian government. The question is until when the Peruvian government will behave this way. When the Peruvian government is going to realize that we exist and that we are not invisible. They all act and make nonsense excuses to cover up their homophobia or better say, their thinking, ¨I do not want to work with you, and I do not care about your human rights¨ This thinking has been carried on for years, and the Peruvian government does not seem to get it. When most of the world is moving towards equality, our Peruvian goverment moves backwards because at least the LGBTI community was mentioned in the previous National Human Rights Plan 2006-2010 although many of those activities were not done either. Even worse, the Peruvian government keep saying to the world that it is working towards social inclusion, social inclusion that we, as an LGBTI community, do not see it because we were not mentioned or there are not any activities in favor of our community in this new National Human Rights Plan 2014-2016.
Right after this new National Human Rights Plan 2014-2016 was approved by the Peruvian Cabinet of Ministers, the LGBTI organizations all over Peru stood up to claim for their human rights. In the capital of Lima, LGBTI activists protested for this exclusion of their human rights as well as seen in the video down below.
No more homophobia, verbal abuses, violent attacks and killings, this has got to change! For a real social inclusion, we need a better government that understands our LGBTI human rights and support them. We exist, we are visible, we live in this country, and we contribute to it just like everybody else, human rights now!
Yvo R. Minchon, an LGBTI activist