Cameroon-Committee Against Torture-LGBTI Issues-June 2020

The Advocates for Human Rights, together with Alternatives Cameroon, submitted a Suggested List of Issues on violence and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity in Cameroon for the 70th Session of the Committee Against Torture.   

 

The Republic of Cameroon fails to adequately protect LGBT persons and human rights defenders working for LGBTI rights. Police routinely subject LGBT persons to arbitrary arrest and attempt to extort money through violence and threats. Homophobic vigilante groups threaten, harass, and commit physical and sexual violence against LGBT persons and human rights defenders working for LGBTI rights. Discrimination against LGBT persons remains prevalent throughout Cameroonian society. LGBT persons are denied access to healthcare and government services such as the issuance of identification documents. 

 

Authorities do not promptly, thoroughly, or impartially investigate allegations of violations on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, including acts of torture, ill-treatment, and “corrective rape.” The police often participate in or condone the violations. The government of Cameroon fails to appropriately respond to such conduct perpetrated by both officials and private individuals. The criminalization of consensual adult same-sex sexual relations, coupled with public animus toward LGBTI individuals, fosters a hostile and often deadly environment for the LGBT community in Cameroon. 

 

The authors of report suggest the following recommendations for the government of Cameroon: 

  • What, if any, concrete steps are the State Party taking to repeal Article 347-1 and decriminalize consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex? 

  • What measures is the State Party taking to ensure that individuals are not subject to arbitrary arrest or detention, torture, or other forms of ill-treatment for communicating electronically with someone of the same sex? 

  • What measures has the State Party taken to ensure that law enforcement officials do not arrest people merely because their conduct or appearance does not conform to traditional gender stereotypes? What, if any, sanctions are imposed on law enforcement officials who arrest people based merely on their actual or perceived gender identity and sexual orientation? What remedies are provided to individuals who are arbitrarily detained or arrested based on their conduct or appearance? 

  • What measures has the State taken to investigate acts of violence against LGBT persons and to hold perpetrators accountable? 

  • What efforts has the State Party undertaken to encourage people to report torture and ill-treatment on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity and to protect victims who make such reports from reprisals.