19 de Enero de 2010 – Sentidog
Organizaciones LGBT brindan su ayuda a las víctimas del terremoto de Haití
publicado el Martes
Haiti – Catorce hombres que pertenecían a la organización SEROvie, la entidad más importante de Haití para la ayuda de personas gays y trans con HIV, se encuentran entre las victimas del terremoto que sacudió a Haití la semana pasada, de acuerdo a lo informado por la Comisión Internacional de Derechos Humanos de Gays y Lesbianas (IGLHRC). Solamente dos personas de la organización lograron sobrevivir. La noticia acerca de la trágica muerte de estos hombres fue comunicada por medio de un e-mail enviado por el líder de SEROvie, Steve La Guerre, solicitando la ayuda de la IGLHRC.
“Nos encontrábamos en el medio de nuestra reunión de los martes por la tarde cuando sucedió lo peor”, relató La Guerre en su e-mail. “El ruido fue tremendo. No puedo explicar lo horrendo que fue cuando el techo y las paredes de la sala de conferencias se desplomaron y se desató el caos. Es por esto que ahora más que nunca SEROvie y ACCV (Acción Cívica Contra el HIV) necesitan proveer los servicios de calidad con los que asistimos a nuestros beneficiarios: comida, vestimenta y cualquier otro tipo de ayuda.”
El director ejecutivo de IGLHRC, Cary Alan Johnson, confirmó que su grupo ya ha enviado fondos directamente a SEROvie para que no se interrumpa el abastecimiento de bienes y servicios a sus clientes. El grupo también ha enviado dinero a la organización feminista de origen dominicano Colectiva Mujer y Salud, la cual ha cruzado la frontera para asistir a los miembros de la comunidad LGBT de Haití víctimas del terremoto. IGLHRC también ha creado un sitio web para que la gente pueda realizar donaciones. Según Johnson, el 100 por ciento de lo recaudado “irá directamente a nuestros amigos y colegas de Haití”.
Por otro lado, la Rainbow World Fund de San Francisco se encuentra recolectando dinero y recursos para ayudar a las víctimas del terremoto.
La organización LGBT, la cual ha organizado numerosos proyectos para mejorar la nutrición y el acceso a agua potable para los habitantes del castigado país caribeño desde el año 2004, ha establecido su propia campaña de ayuda a las víctimas del terremoto de Haití con una donación de 50 mil dólares. La agrupación también se ha unido a la ONG con fines humanitarios CARE, la cual ya ha provisto de alimento, agua potable, lonas, sábanas y medicamentos a los sobrevivientes del terremoto ocurrido el pasado 12 de enero.
January 13, 2011 – Sentidog
(Spanish to English translation)
The Rainbow World Fund Continues Its Work in Haiti
After a year of the earthquake that whipped to Haiti and removed the life at more than 200 thousand people and destroyed the Presidential Palace and a countless quantity of buildings, an organization LGBT based on San Francisco is maintaining united for the inhabitants of the punished country. The Rainbow World Fund initiated its campaign of aid to the victims of the earthquake of Haiti after the incident, January 12, 2010, with a donation of 50 thousand dollars. Besides it joined with the humane organization CARE to provide food, drinking water, canvases for tents, blankets, medicines and other elements of first need to the survivors of the earthquake.
"Around 1 million and middle of people still continue displaced persons", reported the Executive Director of the foundation, Jeff Cotter. "Still numerous challenges they exist, from problems of infrastructure, bad conditions of the streets and routes, the slow removal of debris, the lack of information about the fields of refugees, to important problems of health and of provision". Cotter also referred to the psychological recovery of the survivors. "The population of Haiti is suffering a constant sensation of pain and loss by the enormous catastrophe that has suffered".
Besides it assured that its organization has been successful to level macro, but that the demands and the pending challenges still are enormous. The Rainbow World Fund is now fighting for a new cause: cholera.
The outbreak has been carried more than 2 thousand lives in Haiti and other 90 thousand people they are found infected by the illness. The foundation also offers its support to the campaigns of prevention and awareness-raising about the epidemic, to the increment of the accesses to sources of drinking water and sanitary services, the distribution of soaps and tablets to purify the water and the training of professionals of the health for the best management, diagnostic and attention of the cases of cholera.
"The people usually asks me why is important for the people LGBT to help the members of other communities", related Cotter. "Many times have said me that ‘the charity begins at home’. That can be certain, but also I believe that we are living in an epoch in which we need to expand the definition of what is ours ‘house’ and to give us account that the entire planet is our home and that all their inhabitants are members of our family. The epidemic of the AIDS taught us to involve us in the problems of the others before they affected us locally".
Cotter assured that their organization continues collecting funds to support the work of the Rainbow World Fund in Haiti. "Thousands of people are found living in a basic level of survival. Besides helping with the epidemic of cholera, the Rainbow World Fund assists families that live in the neighborhoods more disadvantaged of the country to fight against the poverty and the malnutrition with the establishment of farms where is carried out the planting and harvesting of vegetables".
The foundation has also been involved in the collection of funds for SEROvie, the Haitian only organization that you grasped to the sexual minorities that is found working in the prevention of the HIV/AIDS. The donations can be carried out in the web page http://rainbowfund.org/donate. "Our commitment with Haiti is unbreakable, the Rainbow World Fund has been working in projects of aid in the country during the last five years", assured Cotter.
March 28, 2011 – IGLHRC
Needs of LGBT Haitians Largely Ignored in Post-quake Recovery Efforts
New York – Violence and discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people has increased since the January 2010 earthquake, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and SEROvie said in a briefing paper issued today. The paper, The Impact of the Earthquake, and Relief and Recovery Programs on Haitian LGBT Peopl, documents anti-LGBT human rights violations that have occurred since the earthquake. “UN Agencies, private organizations, and governments must recognize the horrible impact of the Haiti disaster on LGBT people,” said Cary Alan Johnson, IGLHRC’s Executive Director. “While the needs of some marginalized groups are at least acknowledged, LGBT people are completely ignored.”
Perhaps most shocking, conservative religious leaders in Haiti even blame LGBT for the earthquake, leading to increased stigma and violence. “In the days and weeks after the earthquake, we were shouted at in the streets…you gay people, take your sin and go, you are responsible for this tragedy’” said Reginal Dupont, Program Manager at SEROvie. “Many masisi were attacked, verbally and physically.” This irrational blaming of LGBT people for natural disasters is a global phenomenon, with conservative evangelicals like Pat Robertson having blamed homosexuality for the devastation of Hurricane Katrina as well as other natural disasters.
The findings detailed in IGLRHC/SEROvie briefing paper are based on more than 50 interviews conducted by IGLHRC and SEROvie in Haiti in April and September of 2010 with LGBT people and representatives of relief organizations, the United Nations and diplomatic missions in April 2010. The much-needed security, health and community services provided by organizations such as SEROvie – rare enough before the quake – have been devastated and this has compounded the vulnerability of people whose lives were already characterized by secrecy, isolation, discrimination, and violence. According to Reginald DuPont, SEROvie’s Program Manager, “Our center was a place for LGBT people to relax, obtain services, and find acceptance. The earthquake destroyed our offices, took the lives of fourteen young men, and deprived the community of a safe haven.”
IGLHRC and SEROvie acknowledge the devastation suffered by all Haitians but it is important to note that LGBT Haitians suffered a range of human rights violations, including those related to their right to security, in particular ways. “LGBT people rely on friends, family and trusted neighbors for security,” said Johnson, “The earthquake disrupted regular patterns of movement, scattered friends, families, and neighbors, and damaged or destroyed the doors, windows, and walls that had previously provided some measure of safety.”
As the briefing paper notes, the basic rights of LGBT Haitians were violated in other ways. Interviews with Haitians and international aid workers show how, for example, the well-intentioned policy of distributing emergency food rations to female heads-of-households had the unintended side-effect of excluding many gay men and transgender people living in families without an adult female. Many lesbian women living without male relatives or friends, although otherwise able to obtain food aid, were discouraged by chaotic and dangerous distribution lines. This increased vulnerability of LGBT people in disasters and emergency response situations is not unique to Haiti, and IGLHRC and SEROvie draw on similar experiences from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in the US and the 2010 Chilean earthquake in the briefing paper’s conclusions and recommendations.
“While earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes and other natural phenomena will continue to occur, there is nothing natural or inevitable about the ways in which LGBT people are denied equal access to housing, food and security that could mitigate the impact of such disasters,” said Johnson. IGLHRC and SEROvie urge the government of Haiti and other governments facing such disasters, as well as donors and aid agencies, to base relief and reconstruction efforts on the respect and promotion of all human rights, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, and to include LGBT organizations in relief and recovery efforts.
A PDF version of The Impact of the Earthquake, and Relief and Recovery Programs on Haitian LGBT People in English and French is available here
Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director, IGLHRC (New York)
Tel: (347) 515 0330; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reginald Dupont, Program Manager SEROvie (Haiti):
Tel: +509 37569768 Email: email@example.com
September 28, 2011 – IGLHRC
Haiti Update: UN Official Pledges Support to LGBT & HIV-Positive People
Last week, Nigel Fisher, humanitarian coordinator for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti "pledged to help elevate the voices" of LGBT and HIV-Positive Haitians, "so their demands are met in the rebuilding process." IGLHRC worked with SEROvie, Haiti’s men who have sex with men (MSM) Community Organization, extensively in the months after the earthquake to document the secrecy, isolation, discrimination and violence that Haiti’s already vulnerable LGBT population was facing.
Together, we produced a report titled The Impact of the Earthquake, and Relief and Recovery programs on Haitian LGBT People, where we proposed guidelines for the UN, governments, civil society organizations, and human rights groups to protect the human rights of LGBT people in disaster situations. (We are also thrilled to now be collaborating with FACSDIS, a Hatian lesbian organization.) We are happy to see this important pledge of support from the UN. As a supporter of our organization, I wanted to share with you this example of the real impact of our work and of your support.
Thank you for your continued investment in IGLHRC. We couldn’t do this important human rights work without you.
Cary Alan Johnson
1 October 2011 – LGBT Asylum News
In Haiti, the United Nations finally pledges protections for LGBT
by Paul Canning
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has won an important comittment for Haitian gay and HIV+ people, its Executive Director, Cary Alan Johnson, has said. Johnson said that Nigel Fisher, humanitarian coordinator for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti has "pledged to help elevate the voices" of LGBT and HIV-Positive Haitians, "so their demands are met in the rebuilding process."
Fisher was speaking to hundreds of AIDS policy experts at the North American Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit, 22 September. “People living with or affected by HIV and AIDS, or gay and transgender minorities, they are still left out in the cold,” said Fisher. “So I can say to the summit organizers: You’ve already done two things in bringing me here. One, you’ve raised my awareness by inviting me. But, two, you’ve allowed me to meet with . . . Haitian advocates here. And we’ve already come up with some ideas about how we can work together once we return to Haiti.”
Following the January 2010 earthquake rhetoric blamed LGBT people for bringing the “wrath of God upon Haiti.” IGLHRC worked with SEROvie, Haiti’s men who have sex with men (MSM) Community Organisation, extensively in the months after the earthquake to document the secrecy, isolation, discrimination and violence that Haiti’s already vulnerable LGBT population was facing. With them they produced a report titled ‘The Impact of the Earthquake, and Relief and Recovery programs on Haitian LGBT People’, which proposed guidelines for the UN, governments, civil society organizations, and human rights groups to protect the human rights of LGBT people in disaster situations.
In March last year Johnson wrote of a visit to Haiti:
"Many in this community have been left without food, shelter or identification—and more still have lost close family members and friends. SEROvie has distributed food and medication to LGBT people in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s devastated capital, and have begun to re-launch their important work in 5 regions (Le Nord, L’Ouest, Le Sud-Est, Artibonite, le Sud) around the country. They are also trying to help LGBT people in the makeshift camps for the displaced in Port-au-Prince, distributing condoms and lubricant (some of which was provided by Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) ) and by offering encouragement and understanding to a marginalized group of people that, in the span of 37 seconds, was rendered substantially more vulnerable."
In March this year, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a thematic hearing on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Haiti.” [See video of the hearing] Petitioners in the hearing included the IGLHRC and SEROvie.
Said Johnson of Fisher’s pledge:
"We are happy to see this important pledge of support from the UN. As a supporter of our organization, I wanted to share with you this example of the real impact of our work and of your support."