This brochure is part of a research series commissioned by the Human Dignity Trust on behalf of the Equality & Justice Alliance, as part of a 2-year programme announced by the UK Government in April 2018.
A core focus of the 2-year programme was support for reform of colonial-era sexual offences laws that discriminate against women and girls and LGBT+ people, among others. As part of that support, the Trust—with the assistance of experts from around the Commonwealth—produced research and information designed to inform, inspire and assist Commonwealth governments that are considering embarking on reform of these laws. This brochure contains an interview with Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children and Spouse of the Prime Minister of Belize.
Since the 1990s, Belize has undertaken a concerted effort to reform its sexual offences laws, particularly to strengthen legal protection for women, children and LGBT people. This has been achieved through a combination of changes to legislation and policy via the legislature, and public interest litigation via the courts in the Caleb Orozco v the Attorney General of Belize case.
The brochure explains the growing concern regarding British colonial-era sexual offence laws, the process through which the reforms took place and the lessons learnt. Simplis Barrow highlights the outcome of the reform and the political will to do the right thing: “Belize is now sending the right message domestically and internationally.”