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U.S. Embassy hosts inaugural LGBTQI+ Economic Roundtable and launch of groundbreaking Economic Report in Belize

Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2024. 11:23 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On May 16, 2024, the U.S. Embassy, in collaboration with the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UniBAM) and Koppa – the LGBTQI+ Economic Power Lab, hosted Belize’s inaugural LGBTQI+ Economic Roundtable with representation from the U.S. and Belize governments, civil society, academia, and international experts. 

The event commemorates the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia and marks a significant step towards understanding and addressing economic challenges faced by LGBTQI+ people in Belize.

The highlight of the roundtable was the unveiling of the seminal report, titled “A Legal & Empirical Analysis of LGBTQ+ Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: A Case Study of Belize.” 

Jointly authored by UniBAM’s Executive Director Caleb Orozco, Founding Partner of Koppa Lab Philip R. Crehan, and others, the report sheds light on the multifaceted issues surrounding LGBTQI+ economic marginalization and presents 70 actionable recommendations for government, economic development organizations, the private sector, and civil society.

U.S. Ambassador Michelle Kwan said, that this report was a “clarion call for action” and signified “an opportunity for policymakers, business leaders, advocates, and citizens to engage in a dialogue that is long overdue.”

Commenting on the significance of the report, Caleb Orozco remarked, “This report underscores the imperative for the state to fulfill its domestic, regional, and international obligations toward LGBTQ+ citizens, who have long been marginalized in our society.”

Philip R. Crehan emphasized the critical role of economic institutions in fostering inclusion, saying, “Our analysis reveals the stark relationship between discrimination, a lower socioeconomic status, and more violence. It’s imperative that economic institutions take proactive steps to integrate LGBTQ+ people into their operations.”

“The inaugural LGBTQI+ Economic Roundtable and the launch of the report represent significant milestones in Belize’s journey towards LGBTQI+ economic empowerment and growth, as well as social justice. The United States is committed to supporting human rights champions working to promote and advance equity and inclusion for everyone,” the U.S. Embassy noted.

 

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