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Human Rights Council - Alternatives Cameroun - LGBTI Rights - October 2017

Date: October 4, 2017
Document: cameroon_upr_tahr_ac.pdf
Country: Cameroon
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Accountability  , Bias and Discrimination , Gender-Based Violence , International Advocacy , LGBTI Rights , Policing
Mechanism: Universal Periodic Review
Report Type: Stakeholder Report

Report on the Violation of Rights on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Republic of Cameroon, 30th Session of the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (April - May 2018)

Partner: Alternatives - Cameroun

In October 2017, The Advocates for Human Rights and Alternatives-Cameroun submitted a report on the violation of rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Republic of Cameroon during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in front of the UN Human Rights Council.

Since Cameroon’s last UPR in 2013, the government has neglected to uphold its human rights obligations with respect to minorities of sexual orientation and gender identity. Article 347 bis allows the government of Cameroon to participate in and condone discrimination against people on the basis of their perceived and actual sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, the government encourages a climate of impunity for officials and other persons who abuse, torture and murder those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI).

Reported attacks and violence against the LGBTI community have been rising since 2012, and the number of reported arrests have tripled in 2016. Police violations are common, as they frequently arrest those suspected of homosexuality without arrest warrants, and do so at all times of day rather than during the hours in which arrest warrants can legally be enforced. Other issues present in Cameroon include the use of psychological torture to solicit confessions of homosexuality, and a lack of accessible healthcare for the LGBTI community.

This stakeholder report suggests some of the following recommendations:

  • Decriminalize consensual same-sex conduct, striking Article 347-1 from the Penal Code;
  • Until Article 347-1 is repealed, instruct the Ministry of Justice to issue a directive to the general prosecutor to cease arrest and prosecutions under the article;
  • Release all prisoners who are currently detained on the basis of sexual orientation;
  • Hold private parties accountable for violence targeting people based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity; and
  • Adopt appropriate measures to tackle social prejudices, stigmatization, harassment, discrimination and violence against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation.