Rapporteurship on the Rights of LGBTI Persons


The Rapporteurship on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons is one of the special mechanisms overseen by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Commission originally created a Unit on the Rights of LGBTI Persons during its 143rd Session in 2011. See, e.g., IACHR, Press Release No. 115/11, 3 November 2011. The Commission decided to transform the Unit into a Rapporteurship during its 149th Session in 2013, although it did not begin fully functioning until February 2014. See, e.g., IACHR, Press Release No. 94/13, 25 November 2013. Its purpose is to promote and protect the rights of LGBTI persons throughout the Organization of American States (OAS) Member States.


One of the Commission’s seven Commissioners is selected to be the Rapporteur for a three-year term, which may be renewed once. Each Commissioner serves in an independent capacity and does not represent his or her country of citizenship. The Commissioner who holds the office undertakes his or her work on a part-time basis, including during the three times per year that the Commission is in session. One or more lawyers in the Commission’s Executive Secretariat, in Washington, D.C., assist the Rapporteur.

The Rapporteur has many duties, including conducting promotional activities, providing OAS political organs with technical assistance regarding the protection of LGBTI rights, and preparing reports. Its reports contain recommendations to OAS Member States on how to fulfill their international obligations regarding LGBTI rights. The Rapporteurship advises the Commission in its processing of individual petitions, cases, and requests for provisional and precautionary measures that are related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. On its website, the Rapporteurship lists the Inter-American decisions and jurisprudence related to LGBTI rights.

Country Visits

The Rapporteurship conducts country visits, referred to as working and on-site visits, to OAS Member States with their consent. These visits, and those carried out by other rapporteurships, provide the Rapporteurship with information regarding LGBTI rights, which it uses to develop recommendations to Member States to assist them in fulfilling their international obligations. The Rapporteurship links to relevant sections of country reports published by the Commission following on-site visits on its webpage.

Receiving Information

The Rapporteurship often gathers information through promotional activities on LGBTI rights, including the organization of seminars, conferences and workshops, panel discussions, and meetings of experts on issues related to LGBTI rights. The expert meetings have covered a variety of topics that are relevant to discrimination against LGBTI persons, including education, culture, political participation, employment, violence and impunity, and health.

Additionally, the Commission holds thematic hearings to gather information from States and civil society on particular issues. The Rapporteur may participate in these hearings or refer to the information discussed in subsequent reports. View the Commission’s searchable database of public hearings to see those related to LGBTI persons’ rights.


The Rapporteurship has a duty to provide the Commission with annual reports of its activities, which the Commission then shares in its own Annual Reports to the OAS General Assembly. The Rapporteurship has collected excerpts of these reports related to its activities through 2012 on its website. To view reports on the Rapporteurship’s activities in more recent years, see the Commission’s annual reports page. The Rapporteurship’s website also includes excerpts of thematic reports that discuss issues affecting LGBTI persons.


The Rapporteurship may be contacted by:

  • Mail:

Rapporteurship on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Persons (LGBTI)
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
1889 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

The Rapporteurship does not receive individual complaints or requests for precautionary measures. Such petitions and requests must be addressed to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. For additional information, see the petition form or IJRC’s resources on the Inter-American human rights system.