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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Liberia (CCPR 27-08-2018)
The Committee considered the initial report of Liberia (CCPR/C/LBR/1) at its 3500th and 3501st meetings (CCPR/C/SR.3500 and 3501), held on 9 and 10 July 2018. At its 3519th meeting, held on 23 July 2018, it adopted the following concluding observations.
C. Principal matters of concern and recommendations
Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
- The Committee is concerned about (a) the criminalization of same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults and attempts to increase penalties and prohibit same-sex marriage; and (b) reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals are stigmatized and are subject to de facto discrimination in the enjoyment of a range of rights on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It is also concerned that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals experience violence, arbitrary detention and police abuse of authority, a state of affairs that is exacerbated by underreporting of, and lack of effective investigations into, such human rights violations, whether inflicted by State or non-State actors. Moreover, the Committee expresses its concern at reports of harassment and reprisals against defenders and associations advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals (arts. 2, 6, 7, 9, 20, 22 and 26).
- While acknowledging the diversity of morality and cultures internationally, the Committee recalls that State laws and practices must always conform to the principles of universality of human rights and non-discrimination. The State party should, as a matter of priority, decriminalize same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults and explicitly reject any form of social stigmatization, discrimination or violence against persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. It should also:
(a) Remove any barriers to the enjoyment of rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals;
(b) Facilitate access to justice by victims, including by strengthening trust between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals and State authorities;
(c) Ensure the investigation, prosecution and punishment of any act of violence motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity and ensure the systemic collection of data about such acts;
(d) Guarantee in practice the security as well as the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals, defenders and organizations;
(e) Undertake education campaigns, in consultation with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex representatives and civil society organizations, on non-discrimination, inclusion and diversity.