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IDAHOT Report 2014: Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago

The organisations Friends for Life, CAISO and CariFLAGS joined forces this year to organise events around May 17 in downtown Port of Spain and Belmont, Trinidad & Tobago.

The events went on for two days and consisted of:

Friday May 16, 1:30pm: Friends for Life held a demonstration at the Port of Spain International Finance Centre, the home of the national Parliament at the start of its sitting.

Saturday May 17, 9am: CAISO, Friends for Life and CariFLAGS at their joint office in Belmont, launched a Trinidad & Tobago case advocacy program to bring justice and healing to LGBTI persons who have suffered violations of their basic rights; and hosted a briefing on the first sexual orientation-related Caribbean case just accepted by the Caribbean Court of Justice — a treaty challenge to the immigration law of Trinidad & Tobago.

Local activists explained:

The law makes homosexuals, those who live off their earnings, and those reasonably suspected of coming or attempting to bring others into the country for homosexual purposes prohibited immigrants; and it provides for the deportation of persons who practise, assist in the practice, or share in the avails of ‘homosexualism’.

The casework program is staffed by a social worker and a lawyer and will lead to a new effort at strategic use of courts and tribunals by LGBTI groups in Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean, with the development of a clearing house for SOGI-related strategic litigation in the region.

UK, German and other embassies formally salute the Day in T&T

On May 16, for a 24 hour period, the Union Jack (flag of the UK) was lowered, and the rainbow flag raised in its place at the British High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago.

Also present were representatives from the German Embassy, Canadian High Commission, and Spanish, Dutch, US embassies and other colleagues from the European Union. Non-governmental organisations present were the Silver Lining Foundation and, I Am One group.

Media coverage (select):

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