December 17, 2008

Recommendations

To all governments, including those that inherited British colonial laws criminalizing homosexual conduct

· Repeal all laws that criminalize consensual sexual activity among adult people of the same sex.

· Ensure that criminal and other legal provisions of general application are not used to punish consensual sexual activity among adults of the same sex.

· Pass laws defining the crime of rape in a gender-neutral way so that the rape of men by men, or of women by women, is included in the definition and subject to equal punishment.

· Pass laws expressly criminalizing the rape or sexual abuse of children.

· Consistent with the principle of non-discrimination, ensure that an equal age of consent applies to both same-sex and different-sex sexual activity.

· Repeal any law that prohibits or criminalizes the expression of gender identity, including through dress, speech or mannerisms, or that denies individuals the opportunity to change their bodies as a means of expressing their gender identity.

To the Commonwealth Secretariat

· Consistent with the 1971 Singapore Declaration of Commonwealth Principles, which affirms "the liberty of the individual," "equal rights for all citizens," and "guarantees for personal freedom," condemn and call for the removal of all remaining British colonial laws that criminalize consensual sexual activity among adult people of the same sex.

· As part of Commonwealth programs to help member nations implement international obligations in their laws, promote the decriminalization of consensual, adult homosexual conduct.

· Also as part of these programs, develop models for gender-neutral legislation on rape and sexual abuse, and for the protection of children.

· Integrate issues of sexual orientation and gender identity into all human rights educational and training activities, including the Commonwealth Human Rights Training Programme for police.

To the United Nations and its human rights mechanisms

· Consistent with the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee in the 1994 decision of Toonen v. Australia, condemn and call for the removal of all remaining laws that criminalize consensual sexual activity among adult people of the same sex, as violations of basic human rights to privacy and equality.