FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 1, 2016
CONTACT: Elliot Imse, Director of Communications, [email protected]
Colombian Political Parties Talk Inclusion with LGBTI Advocates
Victory Institute and Partners Organize Unprecedented Meeting
Washington, DC – Today Victory Institute and partner organizations convened Colombia’s major political parties to discuss implementation of LGBTI inclusion clauses in the historic peace agreement between the government and FARC guerilla movement. Advocates shared the continued challenges to LGBTI political participation in the country, and provided party representatives with detailed recommendations for ensuring the agreement’s inclusion goals are realized.
“The Colombian peace agreement presents a unique opportunity to bring LGBTI people into the political process, and for LGBTI appointees and advisors to contribute during this exciting new chapter for the nation,” said Victory Institute President & CEO Aisha C. Moodie-Mills. “LGBTI representation in government is critical to ensuring LGBTI interests are considered in the policymaking process. The political parties’ willingness to hold substantive conversations on inclusion is promising and can lead to meaningful progress.”
The peace agreement’s acknowledgement that LGBTI people were among those most affected by the 50-year conflict created an opening for the discussions. The recommendations presented by advocates include:
- Developing strategies to increase LGBTI participation in government bodies;
- Appointing department advisors dedicated to serving LGBTI people;
- Including LGBTI citizen and political engagement strategies in party platforms; and
- Launching educational and outreach campaigns to increase acceptance of LGBTI people.
The political parties were convened by members of the Observatorio de Participación Política de Personas LGBTI en Colombia (LGBTI Political Participation Watchdog in Colombia), an initiative of Victory Institute and Caribe Afirmativo. Colombia is one of ten countries Victory Institute works in to develop and support civic leaders and increase democratic participation to advance LGBTI equality.
Additional members of Observatorio include National Democratic Institute, Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung en Colombia. In the coming weeks, Observatorio members will lead follow-up meetings with the political parties to push forward adoption of the recommendations.
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Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute works to increase the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public office and to provide programming, service, and other support to ensure their success.