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An Interview with Pau González of Hombres Trans Panamá

I. Introduction On April 1, 2020, the government of Panama introduced a gender-based lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that women and men were only allowed to do essential shopping on alternate days. The country’s Health…
Pau González. © Alexandra Gil
News

President Cortizo Should Veto Discriminatory Provisions

(New York) – Panama’s National Assembly passed a bill on March 3, 2021, that includes a discriminatory prohibition on adoption by same-sex couples, Human Rights Watch said today. Bill No.120, which aims to protect children and adolescents from…
Panama's President Laurentino Cortizo delivers his first State of the Nation speech at the National Assembly in Panama City, July 1, 2020. 
News

US Barriers to Asylum Block Path to Safety

(Washington, DC) – The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have failed to effectively address violence and entrenched discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, leading many to seek asylum in the…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
News
This is an important day for same-sex couples. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will, for the first time, hold a public hearing on the question of marriage equality in Panama. This means that advocates will have a chance to make their…
Panamanians protesting constitutional reforms on November 2, 2019.
News
Imagine this scenario. You are a man, you wear men’s clothes, you may even have facial hair. One day, the government segregates men and women and you are told you can only go out on women’s day. You follow these new rules, but everyone stares at you…
Women practice social distancing as they wait in line to enter a supermarket, on a day that men must stay indoors in Panama City on April 3, 2020.
News

Government Needs to Clarify Gender-Based Quarantine System

(Washington DC) – Six transgender people have been stopped by security officials in Panama in recent weeks for allegedly violating Covid-19 curfew rules based on gender, even though the government had promised to resolve the problem, Human Rights…
Women practice social distancing as they wait in line to enter a supermarket, on a day that men must stay indoors in Panama City on April 3, 2020.
News

Security Forces Ordered Not to Discriminate in Covid-19 Quarantine

  Update: On July 16, 2020, the government of Panama published a statement that specifically acknowledged for the first time the reports of discrimination against transgender people. The statement, issued by five government…
Women practice social distancing as they wait in line to enter a supermarket, on a day that men must stay indoors in Panama City on April 3, 2020.
Video
(Washington D.C., May 18, 2020) –The government of Panama has taken an important initial step to address the discriminatory impacts of its gender-based quarantine measures on transgender people by communicating its concern to security agencies, Human…
News

Protect Transgender People From Police, Security Guard Abuse

Update: Starting June 1, Panama replaced its gender-based quarantine schedule in response to Covid-19, with a curfew from 19:00 to 5:00. Under the new measures, anyone can leave their home during permitted times so long as they use a protective mask…
Panama Trans Community Members
News

Trans-Sensitive Police Protocol Needed to Prevent Harassment

When Panama announced it would implement a gender-based quarantine schedule in response to COVID-19, transgender activists were alarmed. And with reason: on April 1, police detained a transgender woman alleging that she was male and out on “the wrong day…
Bárbara Delgado.
News

Amendment Would Define Marriage as Between a Man and a Woman

Update: On November 8, President Cortizo recommended that many of the controversial constitutional amendments be scrapped, including the one banning marriage equality. The National Assembly will revisit the constitutional reforms in the…
Panamanians protesting constitutional reforms on November 2, 2019.
News
A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
News

Preventing Rescue at Sea, Punishing Survivors on Land

The current Italian government’s inhumane approach to refugees and migrants has reached a new low. On September 23, news emerged that Italy had pressured Panama to revoke the use of its flag on the Aquarius, the only…
A wooden boat carrying 29 people, mainly Syrians, just before their rescue and transfer to the Aquarius. October 10, 2017
News

African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
Report
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…
News
In a moment when some countries have stepped back on LGBT rights, a January 9th decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has opened a window of opportunity for Latin America to lead the way.   In a landmark…
People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018. The sign reads: "The court said yes".
News
When people ask me what rising sea levels and hurricanes have to do with human rights, I tell them about my work trip to the Maldives back in 2008. At the time, the small island nation was undertaking democratic reforms and leading the diplomatic…
Maldivian Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Ibrahim Didi signs a declaration calling on countries to cut down carbon dioxide emissions ahead of a major UN climate change conference in the Maldives, October 17, 2009. The Maldivian president and ministe