Journal of Civil Society. Volume 18(4). pp 369-389.

This study is the first pan-regional analysis of civil society organizations’ perspectives on the human rights situation of LGBT + people in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. Paradoxically, whilst UN treaties extend anti-discrimination rights to LGBT + people in most member countries, simultaneously, colonial-era legislation makes intimate same sex relations unlawful. Analysis of the corpus of civil society organizations’ (CSO) submissions to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR), reveals how governments’ failure to reform the law is often based on public opposition grounded in religious conservatism. Moreover, the endurance of anti-LGBT + colonial era legislation is shown to underpin a raft of rights pathologies and reinforce prejudice and negative social attitudes. The principal rights breaches stem from systemic institutional discrimination, and include violence, hate crimes and harassment; police malpractice and denial of justice; as well as failings in healthcare and social protection. Analysis of framing in the civil society UPR corpus reveals the personal impacts of on LGBT + people, including criminalization, victimization, stigma, fear and lack of self-worth.