Briefing on Gambia’s Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2014

Human Dignity Trust's briefing note details how the new Criminal Code of the Gambia (2014) further criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals.

On 9 October 2014, Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh signed his assent to the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2014, passed by the Gambian Parliament on 25 August 2014. The Act further criminalises the LGBT community in Gambia.

This briefing note outlines the provisions that extend the criminalisation of LGBT people, introducing a new offence of ‘aggravated homosexuality’ and harsher sanctions. The note will also address the impacts of the new legislation.  Legislation to combat the sexual abuse of vulnerable people would be welcome in Gambia, but the Act’s reference to minors and disabled people does not achieve this. The Act’s coverage of consensual conduct between adults is a further violation of LGBT persons’ rights under the Gambian Constitution and the country’s international law obligations. The legislation is likely to have a disproportionately negative impact on disabled persons, those living with HIV/AIDS and is an attack on LGBT identity.

The briefing note also highlights the reaction of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who denounced the Act.

Download the briefing note