Gambia

For a summary of Gambia’s review at the second cycle please click here.

7th UPR session
Date of review: 10 February 2010
Date of report adoption: 24 March 2010
Document number: A/HRC/14/6

SUMMARY

SOGIESC issues during Gambia’s 1st UPR review
Civil society submissions: ✓ (3 submissions)
National report: ✘
UN information: ✘
Working group discussions: ✓
Recommendations: ✓ (11 noted)

I. SOGIESC issues/recommendations identified by NGOs
Equality and non-discrimination

8. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reported that, in the Gambia, homosexual conduct is criminalized in the 1965 Criminal Code and that those found guilty of such acts can be imprisoned for up to 14 years. IGLHRC also reported that, in 2008 and 2009, the President of the Gambia called for violence and discrimination and expulsion of “homosexuals?, and called for them to be expelled from their dwellings. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) was disturbed by homophobic comments by the Gambian Head of State and strongly condemned arbitrary arrests of citizens alleged to have engaged in homosexual practices. IGLHRC recommended that the Gambia bring its legislation into conformity with its international human rights obligations by repealing all provisions criminalizing sexual activity between consenting adults, and by ensuring non-discrimination by ensuring access to adequate housing and freedom from or remedies for forced evictions, or the threat of forced evictions on the basis of sexual orientation.

Right to privacy, marriage and family life  

26. Fundación Mundial Déjame Vivir En Paz (FMDVEP) reported that homosexuality is criminalized in the Gambia and that its President stated that he intends to behead all homosexuals placed in detention. FMDVEP recommended that marriage of gay persons as well their right to adopt children be recognized and that all sentences against gay persons solely based on their sexual orientation be eliminated.

II. Excerpts on SOGIESC issues from the national report
No references.

III. Excerpts on SOGIESC issues by UN agencies
No references.

IV. References to SOGIESC issues during the Working Group review
46. France […] expressed concerns at the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and asked whether the Gambia intended to modify the Penal Code in that regard.

48. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland […] was concerned about reports of Government comments allegedly threatening to kill homosexuals.

63. With regard to homosexuality and sexual orientation in general, Gambia emphasised that the President had never said that homosexuals should be killed. The Gambia had cultural values, norms and practices that were different from those of other countries, and it did not recognize sexual orientation as a universal human right. The law punishes sexual activity between persons of the same sex.

68. Italy described as worrisome discriminatory comments made by Gambian authorities concerning homosexuals.

69. Sweden expressed concern that consensual sexual activity between persons of the same sex was forbidden by law in the Gambia and punishable by 14 years of imprisonment, and that Government representatives had publicly called for violence and discrimination against homosexuals.

70. The Netherlands […] noted the criminalization of same-sex activities and asked for further information about the operations of the National Intelligence Agency.

V. Conclusions and/or recommendations
Gambia noted the following recommendations:

100.4. Modify the current legislation to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation (Chile);
100.5. Ensure that no forced evictions or restrictions on access to adequate housing are imposed on the basis of sexual orientation (Canada);

100.6. Ensure non-discrimination in access to adequate housing, and prevent forced evictions, as well as the threat of forced evictions, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (United States);

100.7. Take action to combat violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity and repeal all provisions criminalizing sexual activity between consenting adults; ensure non-discrimination in access to adequate housing and remedies for forced evictions on the basis of sexual orientation (United Kingdom);

100.8. Repeal all provisions criminalizing sexual activity between consenting adults (Canada);

100.9. Decriminalize homosexuality, and take action to combat violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity (Norway);

100.10. Repeal all provisions of law criminalising sexual activity between consenting adults (United States);

100.11. Withdraw legislation that criminalizes homosexuality between consenting adults and to prosecute violence directed against persons because of their sexual orientation (Italy);

100.12. Ensure that all LGBT persons fully and equally enjoy their human rights, in conformity with Gambia’s international obligations, and as an immediate step, to repeal the provisions in the Criminal Code that criminalize sexual activity among persons of the same sex (Sweden);

100.13. Decriminalise same-sex activities in accordance with international human rights standards (Netherlands);

100.14. With regard to the criminalisation of relations between adults of the same sex, consider harmonising domestic standards with international ones so as to ensure the full exercise of all human rights (Argentina).

VI. Further information
You will find all documents relating to Gambia’s first review at UPR-Info and OHCHR’s websites.