Ten South American Nations have expressed approval and agreed to action with regards to sexual orientation and gender identity being included within the human rights agenda.

The sexual orientation acknowledgment was part of a Mercosur meeting held in Brasilia at the end of August.

Mercosur is a customs union between 10 South American countries with representatives from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Chile all present at the meting.

The Brazilian Government further proposed the holding of a Mercosur seminar to debate the legal situation in each country on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Spanish version of the “Brazil without Homophobia” Programme was also launched at the meeting.

The Minister for Human Rights, Paulo Vannuchi, who chaired the entire event, stressed the importance of the Brazil Without Homophobia Programme and the commitment of the Brazilian State to this matter.

In order to overcome the present situation of human rights violations, Vannuchi defended that a change in political culture must be promoted.

Claudio Nascimento, representing the National Council for the Combat of Discrimination at the meeting, stressed the believe that the Brazil Without Homophobia programme can be reproduced throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.