UN Human Rights Council Pressures Cameroon Over LGBT Persecution

Published: May 1, 2013

UNITED NATIONS (TRNS) – During Cameroon’s regularly scheduled Universal Periodic Review (UPR) today in Geneva, 16 members of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva pressured the country to take steps to improve the treatment of LGBT individuals.

A central target of criticism by member states was a penal code provision that criminalizes sex between same-sex individuals, regardless of consent.

The subsection of Penal Code Section 347 in question outlines penalties of between $40 and $400 for same-sex intercourse, as well as jail sentences between six months and five years.

The UPR is a U.N. mechanism with the stated goal of “[reminding] States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” All 193 U.N. Member States are subject to UPR’s on a fixed four and a half year cycle.

During Wednesday’s UPR session, a total of 16 delegations – including Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. – registered their concern about the protection of LGBT individuals from violence, and many called for the full decriminalization of homosexuality within the country, a topic not mentioned within the 15-page U.N. country report that served as a foundation for today’s proceedings.

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