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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Malawi (CCPR 19-08-2014)
The Committee considered the initial periodic report submitted by Malawi (CCPR/C/MWI/1) at its 3072nd and 3073rd meetings (CCPR/C/SR.3072–3073), held on 9 and 10 July 2014. At its 3090th and 3091st meetings (CCPR/C/SR.3090–3091), held on 22 and 23 July 2014, it adopted the following concluding observations.
C. Principal matters of concern and recommendations
National human rights institution
- The Committee is concerned that the Malawi Human Rights Commission does not function fully independently and is not yet adequately funded. The reluctance of the Commission to engage in issues related to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons is also a source of concern for the Committee. The Committee further notes the absence of adequate mechanisms in place for the effective consideration of the Commission’s recommendations (art. 2).
The State party should amend the Human Rights Commission Act to ensure that the Commission enjoys full independence, in line with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (Paris Principles). The State party should also provide the Commission with adequate financial and human resources and establish mechanisms for the consideration and implementation of the Commission’s recommendations. The Commission should fully comply with its mandate and engage in all human rights issues, including those related to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.
- The Committee is concerned that consensual same-sex sexual activity among consenting adults is still criminalized. It is also concerned about reports of cases of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons and that, owing to the stigma, these persons do not enjoy effective access to health services (arts. 2 and 26).
The State party should:
(a) Review its legislation to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity among the prohibited grounds of discrimination and repeal the provisions that criminalize homosexuality and other consensual sexual activities among adults (arts. 137 (A), 153, 154 and 156 of the Penal Code);
(b) Introduce a mechanism to monitor cases of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons and undertake all necessary measures to prevent those cases, prosecute the perpetrators and compensate the victims;
(c) Ensure that public officials refrain from using language that may encourage violence and raise awareness to eliminate stereotyping and discrimination;
(d) Guarantee effective access to health services, including HIV/AIDS treatment, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.