Accra, Ghana
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is an independent non-governmental organisation created to ensure the practical realisation of human rights in the countries of the Commonwealth. We push for an adherence to the Commonwealth's Harare Principles and the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CHRI was established in 1987 after several Commonwealth countries voiced their concern about a lack of focus on Human rights within the Commonwealth organization. CHRI currently has three offices; in Delhi, London and Accra. The Africa office was opened in Accra in 2001 and is at the forefront of the fight to uphold basic human freedoms in the region. We work in three main areas of human rights: Human Rights Advocacy; Access to justice and The Right to Information.

Thursday 14 July 2011

LGBT Situation in Mauritius

Mauritius lies to the east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It is a populous island of just under 1.3 million people. In recent decades it has become a popular tourist destination for South African and European holiday makers.

Homosexuality is still illegal in Mauritius. Its laws are still informed by old colonial sodomy laws. Here is a summary of the LGBT situation on the island.

Law that Criminalises Homosexuality

Criminal Code
Cap 195 – 29 December 1838
Amended 25/01; 30/01; 5/02; 12/03; 22/03; 30/03; 34/05; 24/06[1]

Section 249 criminalises rape, attempt upon chastity and illegal sexual intercourse.  Any person who is guilty of the crime of rape, shall be liable to penal servitude for a term which shall not be less than 5 years.  And any person, who commits an indecent act [‘attentat à la pudeur’] by force or without consent upon a person of either sex, shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.

Section 250 criminalises sodomy and bestiality, finding that any person who is guilty of the crime shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.
Practical Consequences of the law

Popular tourist destination for western holiday makers- cultural clashes.
Constitutional Clause on Equality or Right to Privacy

Constitution of Mauritius 1968[2]

Article 3 guarantees fundamental freedoms without discrimination by reason of race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.  Rights protected include  the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law; freedom of conscience, expression, of assembly and association; and freedom to establish schools; protection for the privacy of the home and other property

Article 9 reaffirms the right to the privacy of the home and right not to be searched on his premises, subject to interests of defence, public safety, public order and public morality.

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