Zambia

Click here for a summary of Zambia’s review at the second cycle and/or the third cycle.
2nd UPR session
Date of review: 9 May 2008
Date of report adoption: 2 June 2008
Document number:  A/HRC/8/43

SUMMARY

SOGIESC issues during Zambia’s 1st UPR review
Civil society submissions: ✓ (2 submissions)
National report: ✘
UN information: ✓
Working group discussions: ✓
Recommendations: ✓ (3 noted)

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

17. Global Rights and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (GR-IGLHRC) noted that the National AIDS Control Program fails to mention men who have sex with men and reported that there are no programs – government-sponsored or privately funded – that respond to the HIV-related needs of same-sex practicing men in Zambia.

Right to privacy, marriage and family life 

27. As indicated by GR – IGLHRC sections 155-157 of the Zambian Penal Code criminalize any form of consensual same-sex conduct in private between consenting adults providing for the possibility of imprisonment from seven to fourteen years. Such provisions reinforce social stigma against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals and expose them to the risk of deprivation of liberty, life, physical integrity and health. Similar observation was made by the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) in its joint submission.

Freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly  

29. GR – IGLHRC further noted that Zambians who have fought against discrimination related to sexual orientation or gender identity have been often silenced. When LGBT organizers appeared in the newspaper to announce their wishes to register the organization, government officials warned that any attempt to register the group or hold public meetings would be met with arrests.

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

III. Excerpts on SOGIESC issues by UN agencies
II. PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ON THE GROUND

B. Implementation of international human rights obligations

Right to privacy, marriage and family life 

18. In 2007, the HR Committee was concerned that the Penal Code criminalizes same-sex sexual activities between consenting adults and recommended Zambia to repeal such provision of the Penal Code.

IV. References to SOGIESC issues during the Working Group review
19. Canada […] also referred to the Human Rights Committee’s concerns that the Criminal Code criminalizes consensual same-sex activity and (a) recommended that it be amended to decriminalize same-sex activity between consenting adults and that (b) Zambia develop programmes to respond to the HIV/AIDS related needs of sexually active gay men.

22. The Netherlands […] noted the Human Rights Committee’s concern about the criminalization of consensual same -sex activity and recommended that Zambia strive to amend its Criminal Code to decriminalize same-sex activity between consenting adults in accordance with the recommendation of the Human Rights Committee.

36. The delegation of Zambia responded to the questions raised, in particular on the issue of the death penalty and same-sex relationships, and stated that the laws in any country are reflections of its socio-economic development.

41. Regarding the issue of decriminalization of same sex relationships between consenting adults, [Ireland] thanked the information provided by the Zambian delegation and stated that criminalization leads to unnecessary suffering of men and women and respectfully asked Zambia to keep an open mind with regard to it.

49. However, [Slovakia] noted some restrictions to form trade unions and to register, as it was reported by an association which fights against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. On these two issues, it asked for clarifications.

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

9.(a) To decriminalize same-sex activity between consenting adults. (Canada)

19.(b) To develop programmes to respond to the HIV/AIDS related needs of sexually active gay men. (Canada)

22.(b) To strive to amend its Criminal Code to decriminalize same-sex activity between consenting adults. (Netherlands).

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