The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) launched a new project, Tides of Change: Supporting LGBTI Organizations to Fight Violence and Discrimination in the Eastern Caribbean, to reduce violence and discrimination against LGBTI individuals by strengthening and supporting local LGBTI organizations across the Lesser Antilles. This project is made possible through a partnership with the Global Equality Fund and the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality, Inc. (ECADE).
As a regional organization dedicated to human rights, equality, and respect for all, PADF remains alarmed and concerned about the continued violence, harassment, and discrimination against LGBTI individuals in the Eastern Caribbean, aided and abetted by the most anti-LGBTI legal frameworks in the Western Hemisphere.
Indeed, seven of the independent states of the Eastern Caribbean – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – have laws that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activities, and LGBTI individuals face unacceptable levels of fear, violence, and harassment.
As such, the Tides of Change project will support local LGBTI organizations in the region to combat violence and discrimination through activities under three components: applied research on issues affecting LGBTI individuals in the Eastern Caribbean, training and support to local LGBTI organizations on these islands, and small grants to local organizations to implement local advocacy and awareness-raising activities.
PADF will work closely with ECADE in the implementation of this project, which will focus on the seven Eastern Caribbean states where same-sex sexual behavior remains criminalized but will include organizations from other countries and territories as appropriate. PADF expects to fund at least three major studies on LGBTI issues in the region, engage a total of 20 local civil society organizations, train more than 50 civil society representatives, and provide more than $150,000 in funding to small grant activities.
The Global Equality Fund is a public-private partnership administered by the U.S. Department of State with funding from 17 independent countries and various private-sector and NGO partners that supports innovative civil society programs that promote and protect the human rights of LGBTI persons around the world.
The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality, Inc. (ECADE), based in St. Lucia, is a coalition of 38 LGBTI and allied organizations from ten countries and territories in the Lesser Antilles that works to strengthen the institutional capacity of member organizations and regional capacity to defend the rights of LGBTI communities.