The UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT+ rights, Lord Nick Herbert, visited Argentina last week, meeting with counterparts in the Argentine Government and with civil society organizations. LGBT+ information app, QUIR, was launched at the British Embassy Buenos Aires by local civil society organization Kidz. This trip is part of Lord Herbert’s activity this year to galvanize ambitious action on LGBT+ rights ahead of the Safe To Be Me conference in London.
The UK and Argentina work together closely on LGBT+ rights. As co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition - an intergovernmental body consisting of 42 member states, multilateral organizations, and around 120 civil society organizations - the UK and Argentina lead global action on this issue.
Throughout 2022, Lord Herbert is visiting countries in every corner of the world to drum up support for LGBT+ rights and galvanize ambitious action ahead of this June’s Safe to be Me conference. The UK will work with countries on their own path to equality, offering support to create the conditions for greater freedoms and equality.
Lord Herbert met with Cecilia Meirovich, Director of Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Alba Rueda, Deputy secretary of Diversity Policies at the Ministry of Women, Genders and Diversity.
Lord Herbert hosted 80 guests from civil society and the LGBT+ community at the British Embassy in Buenos Aires to launch QUIR – an application designed by civil society organization Kidz that provides information on LGBT+-friendly local services. According to their creators, QUIR was born out of the need to find a safe space where LGBT+ consumers can access accommodation, cultural and recreational activities, personal care, health professionals, gastronomy, bars, nightlife, spas and other leisure that guarantee a hate-free experience.
PM Special Envoy Lord Herbert said: UK and Argentina work closely together to promote LGBT+ rights internationally. I welcome the opportunity to meet partners from across Argentina to discuss progress on this vital issue. We have been discussing the Equal Rights Coalition, which the UK has co-chaired with Argentina since 2019, and which has made great progress in mobilizing more countries and pushing for greater global action. This June’s Safe To Be Me Conference in London aims to be a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBT+ equality and I look forward to welcoming our Argentinian partners to the event.
Macs Zimmermann, entrepreneur and creator of the QUIR app, said: As an LGBTIQ person, choosing where to go out, consulting a health professional or looking for a place to stay has always been a complex situation. Inappropriate comments, discriminatory treatment, being denied access or thrown out for no apparent reason, and even physical violence are some of the ways in which LGBTIQ people are violated. It is very important for me to have the possibility to develop a project like this, and to be able to present it to Lord Herbert at the Embassy is an immense privilege. It is my deepest wish that this product gets into the hands of all those who need it and can make the lives of people in the community a little easier and more pleasant, guaranteeing them an experience free from mistreatment, discrimination or harassment.
Andre Rivas, President of Asociación Familias Diversas Argentina said: we are facing a key moment to unite international efforts to advance the rights of LGBTI+ people globally. For this reason, we are focused on the fundamental issues of tackling violence and discrimination, advancing legal protections, ensuring inclusive access to public services and guaranteeing decent employment for our community.
The Safe To Be Me Global Equality Conference is taking place in London from 29 June to 1 July 2022. It will be the UK Government’s first global LGBT+ conference and will bring together governments, businesses, parliamentarians and civil society to achieve a step change in global equality. The conference is focused on 4 overarching aims:
• Tackling violence and discrimination by bringing communities and leaders together to agree on new plans and how to target funding to apply these globally
• Advancing legal protections and decriminalization by accelerating progress on legislative reform and creating the conditions for equality
• Ensuring inclusive access to public services by enabling delegates to share lessons and make commitments on key issues such as access to healthcare and HIV/AIDS prevention
• Making the business and economic case for equality by identifying best practice, strengthening advocacy and supporting businesses to take up the mantle of change, including ensuring
international standards on LGBT+ inclusive practices are upheld