Hivos International

Human Rights

Two of the most controversial issues in Latin America have resurfaced recently due to the decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) that recognises same-sex marriage and the right for Trans people to choose their gender identity as inherent rights.

For El Salvador it was not easy. In the process, five people were killed and one of them tortured. Community leaders lived under threat for years. However, a few weeks ago, our country became the first in Latin America to put a ban on metal mining in all its forms. For a nation as small and impoverished as ours, to make this sovereign decision against the interests of a powerful transnational company is an unprecedented event that we consider a triumph of community work.

Human rights should be considered proportionally in any governmental policy related to the Internet in a way that will hopefully spur the private sector to follow.

On 26 January 2017, Lebanese LGBT activists celebrated a significant victory. For the fourth time in the past eight years, a Lebanese judge ruled that homosexuality was not illegal, applying a liberal interpretation of the Lebanese penal code. The abolition of the legal article in question, no. 534, which criminalizes sexual acts contradictory to the ‘laws of nature’, has long been the aim of Hivos’ partner Helem, a local LGBT rights grassroots organization.

Latin America is suffering from an epidemic. It seems very contagious, but it does not affect the entire population equally. Neither water nor air borne - it is basically unpredictable. We are talking about violence against women, a widespread problem that is not new, but only very recently becoming visible.