Government of India reaffirms support for decriminalizing homosexuality in UN report

A draft of the 2nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India at the UN has been released. This review, which takes places once every four years, is conducted by the Human Rights Council and assesses the human rights records of each of the UN member states.

In the draft report, the Government of India included a very positive paragraph under the ‘Recent Development/Issues’ section. The paragraph, which relates to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), is as follows:

Homosexuals
27. Homosexual intercourse was a criminal offence until 2009 under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The law was struck down by the 2009 Supreme Court decision in Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi as a violation of fundamental rights in the case of consensual adults but not for minors. 

During the review, which concluded on 24th May 2012, the Government of India stated that it supports the Delhi High Court judgment on Section 377 of the IPC and, though it cannot determine the judicial outcome, it is hopeful that the Supreme Court of India takes a sympathetic view on the matter in its pending decision.

The complete draft report can be accessed here.

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The author of this post, Yadavendra Singh, is Senior Programme Officer: Capacity Building for Alliance India’s Pehchan Programme.  

With support from the Global Fund, Pehchan builds the capacity of 200 community-based organisations (CBOs) for men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders and hijras in 17 states in India to be more effective partners in the government’s HIV prevention programme. By supporting the development of strong CBOs, Pehchan will address some of the capacity gaps that have often prevented CBOs from receiving government funding for much-needed HIV programming. Named Pehchan which in Hindi means ‘identity’, ‘recognition’ or ‘acknowledgement,’ this programme is implemented by India HIV/AIDS Alliance in consortium with Humsafar Trust, SAATHII, Sangama, and SIAAP and will reach 453,750 MSM, transgenders and hijras by 2015. It is the Global Fund’s largest single-country grant to date focused on the HIV response for vulnerable sexual minorities.

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