Second update – Posted on 12/14/2015

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Rio Grande Valley groups meet with U.N. human rights experts in San Juan, TX

 

The U.N. Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice has released a preliminary report on their findings in the U.S. after a 10 day visit. The report lays out how women in the U.S. lag behind in political representation, economic and social life, access to health care, and safety.

Aquí Estamos was invited by the National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health, one of our affiliates, to participate in the working group’s visit to the Rio Grande Valley. We used our opportunity to discuss the discrimination against LGBTQ women, specially immigrant LGBTQ women in detention centers. We highlighted the mistreatment of trans women who face astronomically higher risks of being sexually assaulted while in detention centers than their cisgender counterparts. Our concerns were included in the report.

“We are extremely concerned at the situation of migrant women in detention centers, in particular women with minor children who are in prolonged detention… We received allegations of women being subjected to an “expedited removal process” which in spite of the credible fear of return exception, results in the denial of many legitimate asylum claims. We also received allegations of sexual abuse and assault of women detainees, as well as mistreatment from CBP officials. Migrant women are often victims of trafficking and violence, including sexual violence during their journey to the United States. We regretted to learn that appropriate health care services are not systematically provided to these women in a timely manner despite the horrifying physical and emotional ordeals endured. We also received complaints of transgender women being mistreated in detention often wrongfully placed with males. The group encourages the establishment of accountability mechanisms and adequate gender sensitive training as well as the release of women and children from detention.”

 

We are honored to have shared the space with other local organizations in the Rio Grande Valley who brought up other urgent matters that affect women in the our region, such as Fuerza del Valle, Texas Freedom Network, ACLU of Texas, NLIRH – Texas or “Las Poderosas,” and the Mexican Consulate. Among these matters were the abuse and mistreatment of domestic workers, lack of access to adequate health care, undocumented women, and the militarization of our region that creates fear within immigrant communities.

We look forward to the release of the official report in June 2016. We stand in solidarity with the groups in our region who participated in this meeting and are ready to continue building safer and move inclusive communities for all.

To view the report by the working group, click here.

Get involved with Aquí Estamos and contact us at hola@aquiestamosrgv.org.

 

First update –  Posted on 11/27/2015 

You are invited participate in a planning meeting in preparation for a visit from the United Nations to the Rio Grande Valley. A Working Group dedicated to the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice will be meeting with organizations in the Valley on Friday, December 4 and hearing testimonies on the conditions of the lives of women in our region. Aquí Estamos will be highlighting the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ women.

In this planning meeting, some of the topics we would like to discuss include the economic, cultural, academic, political, and social challenges LGBTQ+ women face. While this visit from the UN will center around women, we want to make sure we go even deeper and discuss the experiences of non-heterosexual and non-cisgender women. We want to answer questions such as, “What are the biggest challenges LGBTQ+ women face in the workplace?,” “What does being an LGBTQ+ undocumented or immigrant woman mean?,” “What are experiences that LGBTQ+ women face that their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts may not experience or experience at a lesser degree?” Aquí Estamos will then create a brief report to present to the Working Group.

If you accept this invitation or would like more information, please fill out the form below and select a date and time that works best for you to participate in the planning meeting. You may also email dani@aquiestamosrgv.org.

We encourage you to share this with other LGBTQ+ women who you know that will help create a conducive and safe space for all to participate. To find this invitation in Spanish, click here. To download it in English, click here.

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