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Grenadians challenge old colonial law that criminalizes consensual sex between adults

October 18, 2015


Groundation Grenada and GrenCHAP will be presenting at a special hearing at the The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Monday 19th October 5:45pm to report on the criminalization of relations between persons of the same sex. The hearings are open to the public will be held  at the IACHR Headquarters in Padilha Vidal Room (TL Level), at the General Secretariat Building of the Organization of American States (OAS), located at 1889 F Street NW, Washington, D.C.


Human rights refers to the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. Everyone is entitled to these rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin or other status. GrenCHAP and Groundation Grenada are concerned that section 431 of Grenada’s criminal code, which criminalizes anal sex between consenting adults will be and is being used as grounds for prosecution. This is in breach of human rights guaranteed by international law, including rights enshrined in the American Convention, namely, the Rights to:- Dignity & Privacy, Equal Protection Under the Law & Non-Discrimination, Health and Freedom of Expression. Laws, as governmental directives are normative. Changes in discriminatory laws, like the law against unnatural connection, as well as statements, like the ones recently made by the Prime Minister Dr.Keith Mitchell at a Brooklyn town hall meeting, calling for tolerance, help to remove the basis of stigma underpinning animosity towards and discrimination against LGBTI (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex) people in Grenada.

The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the  Organization of American States (OAS) in this area.  Installed in 1979, the Commission is one of the institutions within the inter-American system for the protection of human rights (“IAHRS”). This system historically has been driven by people from the Caribbean and Latin America. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly. While the members do not act as representatives of their countries of origin, almost all of the current members of the commission are citizens of Caribbean and Latin American countries.

The topics at this 156th period of sessions are as varied as the billions of people who call the Americas home. From October 17th to 28th there will be a total of 57 hearings on a range of human rights topics including; Human Rights and Water in America, Human Rights Situation of Children in La Saline, Haiti,  and Human Rights Situation of People of African Descent in Costa Rica. There will be a total of 5 hearings, which report on the situation of LGBTI people in countries such as Panama, Dominican Republic and Cuba.

RealGroundationLogo_TransparentGroundation Grenada is a social action collective which focuses on the use of creative media to assess the needs of our communities, raise consciousness and act to create positive radical growth. Our mission is to provide active safe spaces to incubate new modes of resistance, building from the local to affect regional and international solidarity and change. We pursue our mission online, through our website and social media, and also through live events and special projects in collaboration with local, regional and international artists, activists and institutions. Groundation Grenada’s website supports both local and diasporic voices, acting as an interface to connect people who are hungry for innovative change.

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