Palau comes latest country to decriminalise homosexualityPublished on Monday, 15 December 2014 17:11
THE island country of Palau located in the western Pacific Ocean has become the latest to decriminalise male homosexuality. There are 79 countries globally that still treat gay men as criminals. A quarter of these countries are Australia’s near neighbours — eight are in the Pacific region and 12 in Asia.
Kaleidoscope Australia, a not-for-profit organisation promoting human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the Asia Pacific region, today welcomed the move by the Government of Palau to reform its criminal laws, including the removal of all offences relating to consensual same-sex conduct between men. At Palau’s last Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, the delegates from France, Norway and Spain all made recommendations that Palau repeal its anti-gay laws. These suggestions were accepted by the Government of Palau, which has since undertaken a revision of its Penal Code.
The new criminal laws came into force at the end of July this year. Dr Paula Gerber, President of Kaleidoscope Australia said it gave much needed impetus to the process for reform in the Pacific. “It is especially pleasing to see that recommendations made during the UN Universal Periodic Review process appear to have had an impact.
Kaleidoscope Australia regularly submits shadow reports to UN review processes, calling for an end to the criminalisation of homosexuality. Kaleidoscope Australia will continue to work with LGBTI activists in Asia Pacific nations to follow the example recently set by Palau.”
Source: The Australian