Human Rights First (HRF) is an independent advocacy and action organization working with LGBTI leaders across the globe to guarantee that their voices are heard. HRF is committed to protecting the human rights of LGBTI persons and ensuring that they remain a foreign policy priority of the U.S. government.
LGBT rights are human rights, period. Human Rights First works to ensure that these rights are incorporated into the United States’ foreign policy agenda and advanced on a global scale. HRF focuses on protecting LGBTI refugees, combating violent hate crimes against LGBTI people, and opposing discriminatory laws banning homosexuality. HRF’s recent projects have included Safe Harbors, raising awareness of “Hotspots of Homophobia,” and halting the spread of Russian-style anti-propaganda laws.
In its Safe Harbors Project, HRF is taking a leadership role in improving the lives of the LGBTI community in the Caribbean, starting with Belize, Jamaica, St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic. HRF is working with the tourism industry in these nations to promote workplace diversity, create a viable training program for employees to best welcome LGBTI visitors, and define how “The Power of Travel” can eliminate homophobia and transphobia in the region.
Elsewhere, Human Rights First maintains an extensive network of LGBTI human rights defenders in order to highlight underreported cases of bias-motivated violence and bring homophobic movements and laws (“Hotspots of Homophobia”) into the spotlight. In doing so, HRF is bringing situations dire for LGBTI individuals to the attention of officials in the U.S. State Department, members of Congress, and the White House.
In Eastern Europe and Central Asia HRF is advocating to halt the spread of anti-propaganda and anti-LGBTI laws. HRF is working with both the U.S. Department of State and LGBTI leaders on the ground to ensure that LGBTI voices are heard in Washington, D.C., thus better informing U.S. foreign policy. It is also developing partnerships between human rights defenders, members of the business community and U.S. officials, in order to dissuade passage of homophobic legislation in the two regions.
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