Washington, DC - Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Mari Carmen Aponte and U.S. Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons Randy Berry will participate in the OAS LGBTI Core Group Event “LGBTI Youth in the Americas: Advancing a Commitment to Address Victims of Trafficking in Persons” on Monday, December 12 at 1:00 p.m. in the OAS Hall of the Americas in Washington D.C. In commemoration of International Human Rights Day, this event will give visibility to the hardships many LGBTI youth face as survivors of trafficking in persons and to raise awareness about how to combat these crimes.

Other speakers will include Ricky Martin, founder of the Ricky Martin Foundation; Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 Issues to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau; Clifton Cortez, World Bank Advisor on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues; Ideli Salvatti, OAS Secretary for Access to Rights and Equity; and Paula Castron, an LGBTI trafficking survivor.

As part of the event, the Art Museum of the Americas (AMA) will also include two art exhibits, “What We Have Within” and “Look at Me”. These exhibits explore the externalization of the psyche, beliefs, affiliations, and sexual orientation in modern societies. The OAS Columbus Memorial Library has also prepared a display of OAS books, articles and documents that address the vulnerability of LGBTI youth to human trafficking.