Zambia (3rd cycle)

Click here for a summary of Zambia’s review at the first cycle and/or the second cycle.

28th UPR session
Date of review: 13 November 2017
Date of report adoption: 19 March 2018
Document number: A/HRC/37/14

SUMMARY

SOGIESC issues during Zambia’s 3rd UPR review
Civil society submissions: ✓ (5 submissions)
National report: ✓
UN information: ✓
Working group discussions: ✓
Recommendations: ✓ (1 accepted, 8 noted)

I. SOGIESC issues/recommendations identified by NGOs and other stakeholders
National human rights framework

26. PAI called for an amendment of the Constitution to include gender-identity as a ground for discrimination.

Equality and non-discrimination

32. Citing cases of persons being arrested on charges related to sexual orientation or gender identify, HRW stated that those persons were subjected to forced anal examinations, which was a form of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment that could rise to the level of torture.

33. RFSU stated that Article 155 of the Penal Code had been widely interpreted as the legal basis for criminalizing same-sex relations while the Constitution prohibited discrimination and provided for the rights to equality and privacy. This ambivalence, coupled with the lack of a sound policy against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has led to a systematic denial of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. RFSU made recommendation including the decriminalization of same-sex relations between consenting adults.

Right to privacy and right to family

52. JS5 stated that consensual same-sex relations were criminalised and punishable by prison sentences of up to 15 years. SALC stated that there was no rational basis on which to criminalise consensual sexual acts taking place in private and made recommendations including repealing Sections 155 and 158 of the Penal Code Act.

Right to health

62. JS5 stated that marginalized groups – sex workers, men who have sex with men, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, adolescents and youth – were disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS due to factors such as discrimination, poverty, lack of access to education, health, mental wellbeing and other services that promote the access to health awareness.

II. Excerpts on SOGIESC issues from the national report
Zambia’s commitment to uphold the protection and promotion of human rights is heightening. During the period under review, this was motivated by the amendment of the Constitution of Zambia by Parliament that followed a rigorous consultation process. Although the Bill of Rights which was subjected to a Referendum alongside the General Election of 2016 was not successful as it did not meet the required threshold, Zambia remains resolute on enhancing human rights for the well-being of all persons without distinction as to the race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Impartial investigation into all allegations of attacks and threats against individuals targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity

26. There are no restrictions under Zambian law towards the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against a person. All allegations of attacks and threats against individuals, irrespective of the offence are required by law to be effected without discrimination of any kind.

Constitutional and legislative framework

119. Among the noted recommendations, there has been no immediate action that Zambia has taken on the following: (a) Decriminalisation of the same-sex relationships

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

15. The United Nations country team stated that the public environment relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons remained largely hostile, particularly in some faith-based organizations. The Penal Code criminalized men having sex with men and anal sex in general. However, the National Aids Council, which managed the funds for capacity-building for key populations groups secured from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, had an adviser on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.

IV. References to SOGIESC issues during the Working Group review
14. All allegations of attacks against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity were investigated without discrimination

91. The Netherlands commended Zambia for the adoption of the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework (2017–2020), but regretted that the country had not accepted any of the recommendations made during previous review cycles relating to same-sex relations and protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.

V. Conclusions and/or recommendations
Zambia accepted the following recommendations:

129.20 Intensify efforts on the development of a legal framework aimed at the elimination of discrimination based on sex, race, disability, status or any other ground (Ukraine);

Zambia noted the following recommendations:

131.54 Adopt legislation that combats discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and protects the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (Honduras);

131.55 Take steps to decriminalize homosexuality and promote respect for the principles of equality and non-discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (France);

131.56 Take actions aimed at putting an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation, beginning by eliminating the criminalization of consensual sexual relationships between adults of the same gender (Spain);

131.94 Decriminalize same-sex relationships between consenting adults (Sweden);

131.95 Repeal laws that criminalize same-sex conduct between adults and review all legislation, policies and programmes to foster equality and prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (Canada);

131.96 Decriminalize same-sex relationships between consenting adults and strengthen efforts to address inequality and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (Australia);

131.97 As recommended during the universal periodic review in 2012, respect the rights and fundamental freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons through the repeal of all norms that criminalize and stigmatize them (Argentina);

131.98 Review and repeal the legislation that criminalizes consensual sexual behaviour between people of the same sex, and prohibit degrading practices imposed on people of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, such as forced anal examinations (Uruguay);

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