Lesotho

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

8th UPR session
Date of review: 5 May 2010
Date of report adoption: 16 June 2010
Document number: A/HRC/15/7

SUMMARY

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

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

13. Matrix Support Group (MSG) reported that the legal system has made massive efforts to eradicate instances of discrimination and unequal treatment in almost all areas except in issues of homosexuality. Although no provision in the Constitution explicitly provides for or prohibits homosexuality, MSG noted that male homosexuality is illegal in Lesotho by virtue of the sodomy law, while the law is totally silent on female homosexuality. MSG added that lesbians are also subjected to the patterns of discrimination suffered by gay men.

14. MSG indicated that the sodomy law does not seem to have ever been enforced at any time in Lesotho save where it was not consensual, and that the Sexual Offences Act made the sodomy law useless.

15. MSG reported that marriage is governed by customary law and common law (through the Marriage Act), both of them excluding same-sex marriage. MSG reported that, although no mention of homosexuals is made anywhere in the Adoption Proclamation, homosexuals may not adopt as a couple because they are not allowed to enter into the institution of marriage, and because of the criminalisation of male homosexuality.

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

III. Excerpts on SOGIESC issues by UN agencies
Equality and non-discrimination

19. In 1999, the HR Committee noted with concern that a sexual relationship between consenting adult partners of the same sex was punishable under law and recommended that Lesotho amend the law in this respect.

IV. References to SOGIESC issues during the Working Group review
52. Netherlands […] mentioned the issue of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and the fact that a sexual relationship between consenting adult men was still illegal. It understood that the Sexual Offences Act had made the Sodomy Law useless.

58. Australia […] noted with concern reports of violence against and the sexual exploitation of children, as well as child labour. It remained troubled by ongoing discrimination against homosexuals and the criminalization of male homosexuality.

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

98.2. Repeal legislation criminalizing male homosexuality, and introduce policies aimed at ending discrimination against homosexuals (Australia);

98.4. Decriminalize homosexuality and abrogate the law which prohibits sexual relations between people of the same sex (France);

98.5. Amend the Sodomy Law so that a sexual relationship between two consenting adults of the same sex is no longer punishable (Netherlands).

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