The Peruvian Congress is under pressure from gay rights activists to become a party to a convention on the rights of young people.

The Ibero-American Convention on the Rights of Youth seeks to promote and safeguard the rights of young people and remedy the inequality that thousands of young people confront for a variety of reasons, including for having a sexual orientation different from heterosexuality.

But the Foreign Relations Committee of the Congress of Peru has raised concerns in this respect, and opposes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and the Homosexual Movement of Lima (MHOL) are asking people to write to the Peruvian lawmakers about the convention.

In a letter to Dr. Luis González Posada Eyzaguirre President of the Congress of the Peruvian Republic, IGLHRC said:

“Far from promoting same-sex unions, the only right that the convention grants to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people involves non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

“This convention recognises that building just and humane societies requires recognising the diversity that exists in every community.

“We urge the Peruvian Congress to take these arguments into account and ratify the convention without reservations.”

The Ibero-American Summit, a meeting of the Spanish, Portugese and Catalan-speaking nations of the world, has been held annually since 1991.

The convention was adopted at the 2005 summit, held in Salamanca, Spain.

The most recent summit in Chile hit the headlines when King Juan Carlos of Spain told the Venuzuelan president Hugo Chavez to shut up after he branded the former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a “fascist.”

IGLHRC points out that in 2002 the Peruvian President signed the Andean Charter to Promote and Protect Human Rights.

Article 10 of this Charter reaffirms the decision of Andean states to combat all forms of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and any other form of intolerance or exclusion against individuals or groups.

Section F of the Charter is devoted specifically to the rights of people whose sexual orientation differs from that of the majority. Article 52 recognises that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or choice, are entitled to the same human rights.

In Article 52, the signatories commit themselves to combating all forms of discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation or choice, paying special attention to preventing and punishing violence and discrimination against those whose sexual orientation or choice differs from that of the majority.

The signatories also commit to providing legal resources for effective remedy in cases of damage caused by such crimes.

For more information on the IGLHRC campaign click here.