The Caribbean

Overview

The Caribbean region is home to some of the most oppressive anti-gay laws in the world. British colonialism in many Caribbean countries has left a legacy of stigma and discrimination that lingers even after these countries achieved independence. This legacy creates an environment where LGBTQ+ people are persecuted, threatened, and sometimes forced to leave their home countries to seek asylum elsewhere.

Legal and constitutional reforms are desperately needed in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people across the Caribbean. So, too, is attitudinal change, including from certain institutions and influential leaders who continue to spread stigma and discrimination. The Legal Network, in collaboration with our in-country partners, is actively working to challenge these discriminatory laws and make the region safer for all.

And change is happening. Recent court challenges have succeeded in overturning laws that criminalize LGBTQ+ people in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis. As we build on this momentum and work toward important upcoming court dates in the ongoing constitutional challenge in Jamaica, support for our Caribbean work is crucial.

And it is even more important as we see hostile laws and polices being adopted and considered in other parts of the world, as countries attempt to deny human rights for LGBTQ+ communities.

The HIV Legal Network’s Caribbean Can Rainbow Fund provides an opportunity for you to assist with the costs of ongoing legal challenges and to support initiatives to change hearts and minds. Our Caribbean partners are pushing toward victory and you can help us get there.

Click here to make your donation to support the human rights of LGBTQ people in the Caribbean.

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PublicationsNews

Backgrounder: The HIV Legal Network and the Caribbean

As a region, the Caribbean has the second-highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa. UNAIDS and regional and national agencies have long identified homophobia as a factor contributing to this startling statistic. The legal and social environment varies significantly across the region, as does community organizing to defend and advance the human … Read more

Rights Within Reach: Strategic Plan 2022-2027

The HIV Legal Network promotes the human rights of people living with HIV or AIDS and other populations disproportionately affected by HIV and criminalization, in Canada and internationally. In 2021, we undertook a planning process that would shape the strategic goals and priorities for the organization’s next five years (2022-2027). To do this, we sought … Read more

Rights Within Reach: Strategic Plan 2022-2027, Executive Summary

In 2021, the HIV Legal Network undertook a planning process that would shape the strategic goals and priorities for the organization’s next five years (2022-2027). To do this, we sought the input of a broad range of stakeholders, from partner organizations to people living with and affected by HIV and criminalization, to staff. All identified … Read more

Submission to the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

In response to the call for input from the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (to inform his presentation to the 50th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council), the HIV Legal Network makes this submission regarding human rights violations against LGBTQ+ people in the … Read more

Respect, Protect, Fulfill: Supporting the HIV Legal Network

Respect. Protect. Fulfill. You can help challenge wrongs, advance rights, and transform lives. Denied basic healthcare. Criminalized and vilified for love. Unfairly targeted by police. These abuses, and more, are too often the experience of people living with HIV and of communities affected by HIV. At the HIV Legal Network, our mission has always been … Read more

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Jamaican court blocks LGBTQ+ rights challenge from moving forward

The Jamaican Supreme Court determined last Friday that the so-called “saving laws clause” in the Jamaican constitution prevents it from inquiring into the constitutionality of the three sections of the Offences Against the Person Act that criminalize same-sex intimacy. This misguided decision denies Jamaicans the means to protect their constitutional and human rights, and further … Read more

Update on the Constitutional Challenge to Homophobic Colonial-Era Laws in Jamaica

For more than eight years, Maurice Tomlinson and the HIV Legal Network have been in court fighting for rights that are denied to LGBTQ+ people living in Jamaica due to colonial-era laws that criminalize same-sex intimacy. Through this slow process, Maurice’s case has nonetheless been gaining momentum, and in recent years we have seen similar … Read more

MEDIA STATEMENT: DOMINICA TO HEAR CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE ON LGBT RIGHTS

STATEMENT: DOMINICA TO HEAR CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE ON LGBT RIGHTS For immediate release – The following can be attributed to Minority Rights Dominica (MiRiDom) and the HIV Legal Network. September 28, 2022 — Today, in a critical step forward for human rights, the High Court of Justice in Dominica will hear a constitutional challenge from a … Read more

MEDIA ADVISORY: Intimate Conviction 2 Volume Launches in Jamaica

LGBTQ RIGHTS AND THE CHURCH: Intimate Conviction 2 Volume Launches in Jamaica Laws Criminalizing Consensual Same-Sex Intimacy Still Exist in More Than 60 Countries Worldwide For immediate release March 7, 2022 — Kingston, Jamaica — On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, the launch of the Intimate Conviction 2: Continuing the Decriminalization Dialogue volume will be held in … Read more

MEDIA ADVISORY: Intimate Conviction 2 Volume Launches in Barbados

LGBTQ RIGHTS AND THE CHURCH: Intimate Conviction 2 Volume Launches in Barbados Laws Criminalizing Consensual Same-Sex Intimacy Still Exist in More Than 60 Countries Worldwide For immediate release March 3, 2022 — Bridgetown, Barbados — On Monday, March 7, 2022, the launch of the Intimate Conviction 2: Continuing the Decriminalization Dialogue volume will be held in … Read more

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