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 9 June 2011

LGBT Situation in Ghana

Two days ago, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Ghana, Ms Gertrude Aikins, indicated that persons caught engaging in homosexual activities could be liable for prosecution.
As part of our weekly look at the LGBT situation in African here is the situation in Ghana, the home of CHRI Africa. It is interesting to note that in Ghana sexual relations between men is illegal whilst sex between two women is permitted.

If you would like to know anymore about the research that is being carried out by CHRI on the LGBT situation contact the London office at chri@sas.ac.uk or the CHRI Africa blog administrator (henry@humanrightsinitiative.org).

Law that Criminalises Homosexuality

Acts of Ghana, First Republic, Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29)[1]

Section 104 criminalises unnatural carnal knowledge of any person of the age of sixteen years or over without his consent, with liability upon conviction to  imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years.  With his consent, this is classed as a misdemeanour. Unnatural carnal knowledge is defined as sexual intercourse with a person in an unnatural manner or with an animal.

Under Section 98 rape is defined as carnal knowledge of a female of sixteen years or above without her consent, with a liability upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty five years.

Under Section 101 defilement is described as the unnatural or natural carnal knowledge of any child under the age of sixteen years.  Whoever commits this felony is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not more than twenty-five years.

Same sex sexual activity between females is legal.

Practical Consequences of the law

Gay Ghana – is an open platform for gays in Ghana. http://www.gayghana.org/
Constitutional Clause on Equality or Right to Privacy

Constitution of the Republic of Ghana[2]
Chapter Five – Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms

Under Article 12. (2) Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender is entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this Chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest. This right can be limited for public interest reasons.

Article 17 affirms that all persons are equal before the law and shall not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.

Article 18 guarantees the right to privacy of the home, property and correspondence, except in accordance with law and as may be necessary in a free and democratic society for public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the protection of the rights or freedoms of others. This right can be limited for public safety reasons.

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