On this World Day Of Social Justice, we demand that states be proactive in Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice.
In 2022 activists won a major victory with the decriminalization of abortion in Colombia, reminding us that despite the obstacles in much of the region there is hope as the green wave spreads thanks to grassroots activism everywhere.
In The Caribbean, physical and sexual violence towards trans people often goes unreported as there are no legal mechanisms to acknowledge a change in gender markers - which in itself is a form of violence. And even with arguably some of the largest activist populations both Brazil and Mexico remained the most violent places for Trans people to live in 2022. The United States is the third most dangerous, a statistic which may well increase given the record number of 300+ anti-LGBTQ+ legislation which has been introduced in the first two months of 2023.
Despite all of these challenges, LGBTQI+ communities across the region continue to be at the forefront of movements and activism across the region. Local Caribbean activists saw their hard work rewarded in the repeal of colonial-era laws banning same-sex intimacy in 3 countries - Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Barbados in 2022. These activists must be protected in order to continue their fight for rights and justice.
There are solutions that include all of us, and all eyes are on the governments of our region to provide protection from discrimination and violence.