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  • Gay Pride celebrations in Quito, Ecuador.

    Gay Pride celebrations in Quito, Ecuador. | Photo: EFE

The Ecuadorean administration has taken huge steps to address the violence and gender discrimination that affected the LGBTI people in the country.

Among the public policies to fight discrimination against the LGBTI community in the country, the Ecuadorean government under the leadership of President Rafael Correa has implemented programs providing state officials in public services with training since June 2016 so they can provide better services to LGBTI people, and guarantee their rights.

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The program titled, “Right to equality and prohibition of discrimination against the LGBTI people,” was implemented on Gay Pride Day, as a result of a meeting between authorities and LGBTI organizations in December 2013.

During the meeting, both sides agreed upon a series of public policies in coordination with most ministries in the Ecuadorean administration. The LGBTI organizations demanded the application of the 2008 constitution, the elimination of discrimination, better access to health, education, housing, justice, security, as well as a guarantee of their rights. The government and the organizations have met every six months since then — four times in total, a historic development in the country.

Other policies include inclusive health services dedicated to LGBTI clients, the delivering of medical treatment for HIV patients, among others.

In the public education realm, all staff receives training on LGBTI issues in order to tackle discrimination, while LGBTI people who left school early receive information about accelerated courses for obtaining their college degrees.

Justice magistrates were also made more aware of LGBTI issues and are trained to investigate hate crimes and assassinations of LGBTI people properly. As a result of the initiative, 46 judicial investigations have been reopened.

As for civil rights, the government committed to allowing people to self-define their gender on their identification cards when they reach 18 years old, while same-sex unions are now allowed.

As the dialogue between the government and the LGBTI associations continue, more public policies addressing the discrimination of LGBTI people and guaranteeing their rights are expected in the future, as all sides agree that much more needs to be done to raise the quality of life for LGBTI people in Ecuador and stop all forms of discrimination and violence against the community as a whole.

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