Rolando Jiménez Perez, Chilean human rights defender, has the floor

March 6, 2014

Rolando Jiménez Perez, Chilean human rights defender, is given the floor in the newsletter of the International Service for Human Rights [ISHR] of February 2014. Here are some of the most quotable statements but the whole interview with Camille Marquis is worth reading:

‘I wanted to fight for human rights in order to help lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals and to put an end to any brutality for reasons of sexual orientation and gender identity. During the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Rolando Jiménez Pérez was a member of the Communist Party driven, along with his fellow party workers, by the goal of restoring democracy. His sexuality was used by the party as a means to belittle him. This brought home to Rolando just how strong a role a person’s sexual orientation could play and he made up his mind that once the dictatorship was over he would turn his attention entirely to human rights and in particular towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

He co-founded Movilh (Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation) in 1991. Movilh is a non-profit organisation defending the human rights of LGBT people. Its objectives are to make visible the reality of LGBT persons and to end violations of their rights. Rolando Jiménez is now the President of Movilh. []

‘In Chile the State lags far behind what the majority of Chileans think. The challenge is to bridge this gap.’ On an international level Chile is perceived as economically stable, but this gives a false impression to the world that there are no pressing problems. Unfortunately this is not the case, and State funding for promoting and supporting sexual diversity rights is non-existent.

‘The effective use of regional and international human rights mechanisms depends on NGOs working together in a coordinated, informed and realistic manner.’

‘Thanks to the attention drawn by the UN to its discriminatory laws, in 2012 Chile approved a law against discrimination which included sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected category.’ The calls from the UN helped to push and guide Chile towards the development of the 2012 legislation and the repeal of its discriminatory laws.

‘The UN should have an office or a special program to teach human rights defenders to use the tools of the human rights system.’

‘Russia’s project to draft a resolution on traditional values at the Human Rights Council seeks to make human rights less relevant than traditional values. This is unacceptable.’ Since 2009 Russia has led a resolution on traditional values at the Human Rights Council, which represents a huge threat to universal human rights standards and in particular the rights of women and LGBT persons.


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