Types of criminalisation

  • Criminalises LGBT people
  • Criminalises sexual activity between males
Summary

Same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under the Niue Criminal Law Code, which criminalises acts of “buggery.” This provision carries a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment. Additionally, the law criminalises “attempted buggery and indecent assaults on males”, punishable with five years’ imprisonment. Only men are criminalised under this law.

The law was inherited from New Zealand when Niue, a British protectorate state, was annexed to New Zealand in 1901. As a result, New Zealand criminal law, itself based upon English criminal law, was imposed upon Niue. When Niue became a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand in 1974, it retained the criminalising provisions. Although New Zealand decriminalised in 1986, this only changed New Zealand law and so same-sex consensual activity continues to be criminalised in Niue.

There is no evidence of the law being enforced, and it appears to be largely obsolete in practice. Nevertheless, the mere existence of this provision is itself a violation of human rights and underpins further acts of discrimination.

There have been few reports of discrimination and violence being committed against LGBT people in recent years. 

Enforcement

There are no reports available on the enforcement of Niue’s criminalising provisions. 

Discriminalisation and Violence

There are no laws protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity in Niue. 

2019

Brown-Acton highlighted that more work is needed to secure rights and support for Niue’s LGBT community.

References

Related Countries

Kiribati

Kiribati criminalises same-sex sexual activity between men. Sentences include a maximum penalty of fourteen years’ imprisonment.

Samoa

Samoa criminalises same-sex sexual activity between men. Sentences include a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

Tuvalu

Tuvalu criminalises same-sex sexual activity between men. Sentences include a maximum penalty of fourteen years’ imprisonment.

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