El Salvador Justice Ministry Launches New Pro-LGBT Policy

El Salvador’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security on April 16, 2018, unveiled a new set of policies that seek to protect the rights of the country’s LGBTI community. (Photo courtesy of the El Salvador Ministry of Justice and Public Security/Facebook).

(WB) El Salvador’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security on April 16 unveiled its new policy towards the LGBTI community. The country’s secretary of social inclusion and its director of sexual diversity and different LGBTI organizations attended the event.

This effort began in October 2016 with a roundtable on security and the LGBTI community’s access to the justice system that included representatives of the Director General of Prisons, the National Civil Police, the Director General of Migration and Foreign Affairs, the National Academy of Public Security, the Inspector General of Public Security, halfway houses and organizations that are part of the LGBTI Salvadoran Federation.

“Our country must continue to undertake actions that move us towards making a society that is truly inclusive and secure for all people,” said Justice and Social Inclusion Minister Vanda Pignato, who urged the Ministry of Justice and Public Security’s different institutions to put into practice these policies that promote respect of LGBTI people’s rights.

This policy emerged from the need to guarantee the rights of a portion of the Salvadoran population that has historically faced discrimination, such as the LGBTI community. It is the result of a joint effort carried out by the aforementioned departments.

“The creation of this policy is without a doubt an achievement,” Ámbar Alfaro, projects coordinator for ASPIDH Arcoiris Trans, a trans Salvadoran advocacy group, told the Washington Blade. “We cannot deny the opening of the ministry, but it should also be stressed that this is the result of the pressure and all of the work that the organized LGBTI community has been doing.”

“This will seek to open roads for all these laws and public policies that are very needed for the recognition of our LGBTI community’s rights,” she added.

Independent activists who know little about the specific details of these policies also think they have good elements if they are expanded, but they nevertheless worry about whether they will actually be applied.

“The capacity for transparency of the institution is fundamental,” said Ana Cisneros, an independent LGBTI activist. “Otherwise it will be the same as any other social policy that is on paper only.”

Alfaro at the same time notes that apart from having a well-established document, the challenge now is its distribution to the minister’s different agencies aside from knowing about it and knowing how to apply it.

“Although the state must seek to apply these public policies, the LGBTI Salvadoran Federation has a lot of work to do with respect to the release of and the correct application of these new policies,” she concluded.


— Ernesto Valle, Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.

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