Strengthening the movement against homophobia and for the rights of LGBTI people in Haiti
Discrimination, stigma, exclusion and violence against LGBTI people is a systemic and widespread phenomenon in Haiti.
Because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBTI people endure abuse, sexual assault and rape, denial of employment and education opportunities, expulsion from their families, and discrimination in access to social services and justice.
The 2010 earthquake only exacerbated the discrimination and violence.
Having lost their networks of community and family protection, LGBTI people suffered increased violence in the camps for displaced persons, and because of their stigmatized status, suffered violations of their right to food and housing and have been victims of arbitrary arrests.
Despite these obstacles, an LGBTI movement is emerging in Haiti, particularly through the work of groups such as Kouraj which has led awareness and advocacy campaigns among local authorities and the public.
However, in 2013, the reaction to these campaigns and new claims for rights was strong, even violent. Orchestrated by powerful forces, in particular religious groups, an increase in homophobic acts (media slur campaigns, demonstrations, hate mongering) led to an outbreak of physical and sexual assaults of LGBTI people.
The LGBTI movement is taking root but remains fragile and isolated.
“There is violence. This situation pushes us, as citizens, as Haitians, to advocate not only for the respect of the rights of the LGBTI community, but also the rights of the Haitian people in general. There can be a better life.”
– Charlot Jeudy, KOURAJ, Equitas partner in Haiti.
What we do
Addressing these challenges through human rights education, the Strengthening the movement against homophobia and for the rights of LGBTI people in Haiti aims to:
- strengthen leadership and institutional capacity within the LGBTI movement;
- increase the capacity of civil society organizations, state institutions and the media to use a human rights based approach in their work to promote the rights of LGBTI people and their full participation in all aspects of Haitian life;
- develop alliances between civil society organizations and state institutions, for a consistent and transversal dialogue at the community and national levels based on the respect of LGBTI rights;
- implement activities (community awareness and mobilization, observation and documentation, advocacy, policy dialogue) to support legislative reforms to improve the situation of LGBTI people, to develop and implement strategies and mechanisms to protect LGBTI people, and to raise public awareness on issues of equality, non-discrimination and respect for sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Strengthening the movement against homophobia and for the rights of LGBTI people in Haiti is implemented by Kouraj pou pwoteje dwa moun (Kouraj), Union de personnes luttant contre la discrimination et la stigmatisation (UPLCDS), American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and Equitas.
It is funded by the European Union.