This report provides a step-by-step analysis of how reform of sexual offences in Seychelles was achieved. It finds that decriminalisation in Seychelles was the result of a combination of factors, including genuine political will. A conducive social environment created through the hard work of local LGBT and human rights organisations, with the support of the legal profession and aided by international dialogue and favourable media coverage, was also crucial in bringing about the long overdue change. Importantly, the report concludes that constructive dialogue with faith leaders, in what is a deeply religious society, was also key to bringing about reform.
This report, commissioned by the Human Dignity Trust on Behalf of the Equality & Justice Alliance, provides a detailed analysis of the purpose of Hate Crimes laws and assesses how these laws, already enacted in parts of the Commonwealth, are being used to tackle the pervasive violence faced by LGBT communities. The report identifies and assesses the different types and models of legislation that are being used and provides recommendations for other Commonwealth legislators.
On Tuesday 11 June 2019, the High Court of Botswana in Gaborone held that Sections 164(a) & (c), 165 and 167 - which criminalise "carnal knowledge... against the order of nature", "attempts" to engage in such acts, and "gross indecency" respectively - are unconstitutional. In particular, the Court determined that Sections 164(a) & (c), 165 and 167 violate Section 3 (liberty, privacy and dignity), Section 9 (privacy) and Section 15 (the prohibition of discrimination) under the Constitution of Botswana 1966. With regard to Section 167 - which criminalises "any person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person" - the Court amended the provision to remove the word "private".
On Friday 24 May 2019, the High Court of Kenya held that Sections 162 and 165 of the Penal Code 1930 – which criminalise “carnal knowledge… against the order of nature” and “gross indecency” between men respectively – are not unconstitutional. In particular, the Court found no violations of equality before the law, the prohibition of discrimination, freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion, freedom and security of the person, the right to fair trial, the right to health, the right to privacy and the right to dignity. The court outlined the substantial comparative jurisprudence that recognises the unconstitutionality of criminalising private, consensual same-sex intimacy but determined that “however persuasive these decisions may be, they are not binding to this court.” The judgment is contrary to international and comparative law and is under appeal.
This report analyses the history, extent and nature of laws around the world which, through their existence and/or application, criminalise transgender and gender diverse people. The purpose of this report is to identify these laws, highlight particular examples of their enforcement, and examine how their mere existence renders trans and gender diverse people criminals by virtue of their gender identity and/or gender expression. The report also explores how these laws, through their existence and/or application, breach international human rights standards and norms.
This short brochure produced by the Human Dignity Trust on behalf of the Equality & Justice Alliance, contains an interview with Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children and Spouse of the Prime Minister of Belize, in which the journey towards reform of Belize's colonial-era sexual offences laws is documented. The brochure explains the reasoning behind the reforms and the problem that existed under the previous legal regime, the process of change, the challenges that were encountered and the lessons learned during the process.