|For a summary of Zimbabwe’s review at the first cycle please click here.
26th UPR session
Date of review: 2 November 2016
Date of report adoption: 28 December 2016
Document number: A/HRC/34/8
SOGIESC issues during Zimbabwe’s 2nd UPR review
I. SOGIESC issues/recommendations identified by NGOs
Constitutional and legislative framework
10. JS5 stated that the lack of legal recognition and inability to change gender markers on government issued documentation significantly impeded the rights of transgender individuals.
Equality and non-discrimination
25. GALZ stated that although the 2013 Constitution guarantees equality for all citizens and freedom from unfair discrimination, it fails to specifically prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Homophobia permeates Zimbabwean society unchecked and manifests itself in different forms, ranging from verbal and physical assault on, to discrimination of, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Refusal by duty bearers and policy makers to address this issue has resulted in the public intolerance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons becoming deeply ingrained in the community and reinforces the general stigmatization of sexual minorities in society. JS5 stated that political leaders and state-sponsored media regularly incited hatred towards gays and lesbians by depicting same-sex relations as immoral.
Right to life, liberty and security of the person
34. JS5 stated that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals, particularly transgender women and men, reported cases of arbitrary detention and torture by law enforcement officials, which were frequent and harmful.
35. GALZ stated that there was a disproportionately high rate of arbitrary detentions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals due to them being sexual minorities.
38. JS5 stated that lesbian, bisexual and transgender women were particularly at risk of sexual violence in the form of “corrective” or “curative” rape, where those women were raped by family members under the erroneous belief that this will “cure” their sexuality.
Right to privacy
51. GALZ stated that criminalization of same-sex activity directly contravened Zimbabwe’s obligations under the ICCPR to protect the right to privacy. It recommended repealing the crime of sodomy as provided for under section 73 of the Criminal Code and Reform Act, 2006, to ensure that same-sex activity between consenting adults is not subject to criminal sanctions.
Rights to health
72. JS5 stated that many sex workers report problems in seeking health services from government hospitals because the medical personnel refuse to treat sex workers unless they bring their partners for treatment. JS5 stated that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons have reported being threatened, ridiculed, and driven out of health institutions upon disclosing that they have engaged in same-sex relations. This stigmatization prevented sex workers and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons from fully disclosing their specific health needs. With regard to transgender individuals, there was a lack of access to gender affirming services including access to hormones, medical equipment such as binders, and to medical procedures such as surgery.
II. Excerpts on SOGIESC issues from the national report
III. Excerpts on SOGIESC issues by UN agencies
Equality and non-discrimination
28. The Committee [on the Rights of the Child] reiterated its concern about high levels of discrimination against certain groups of children, including children with disabilities, children in street situations, children living in rural areas, children born out of wedlock, orphans, children living in foster care, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and children infected with HIV or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Right to life, liberty and security of person
32. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women expressed concern about acts of violence perpetrated by State and non-State actors against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. It urged Zimbabwe to provide effective protection against violence and discrimination for women, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender women.
IV. References to SOGIESC issues during the Working Group review
V. Conclusions and/or recommendations
Zimbabwe noted the following recommendations:
133.7 Repeal the provisions in the Criminal Code which criminalize sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons) (Uruguay);
133.8 Rescind legal provisions that provide for the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons following the principle of non-discrimination (France);
133.9 Make progress, both at the legislative level and in practice, in ensuring the rights and fundamental freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (Argentina);
133.10 Decriminalize consensual sexual relations between same-sex adults (Spain);
133.11 Repeal the crime of sodomy as described in the Criminal Code and the Reform Act, 2006, and ensure that same-sex conduct between consenting adults is not subject to criminal sanctions (Canada);
133.13 Take measures to prevent and combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including by decriminalizing sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex (Brazil);
133.14 Adopt measures to prevent discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, both by State officials and non-State actors, and allow the change of gender markers on government-issued documentation (Israel);
133.15 Prohibit discrimination against persons because of their real or imputed sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ensure adequate protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, sex workers, and other marginalized groups (Canada);
133.16 Adopt urgent measures to make progress on the elimination of all forms of discrimination, stigmatization and violence against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity and to promote the respect of the rights of all persons by society (Chile);
133.17 Eliminate discrimination, stigmatization and violence against persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and, through public dialogue, promote tolerance and a culture of non-discrimination (Czechia);
133.18 Enhance efforts to promote gender equality and combat all forms of discrimination, including those on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (Italy).