“Lesbian, gays, and bisexuals in Cameroon are considered lower than dogs…They face great injustice because of homophobia.”
– Sébastien Mandeng, vice-president of the Association for the Defense of Homosexuality (ADEFHO), an IWHC partner
On Thursday, The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) issued a new report “Cameroon: Same-Sex Relations Bring Attacks, Arrests” in conjunction with Human Rights Watch, Alternatives Cameroun, and the Association for the Defense of Homosexuality(ADEFHO), an IWHC partner, on human rights abuses in Cameroun that are based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The report details the Cameronian government’s use of article 347 bis of the Penal Code to deny basic rights to people perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). The report documents instances in which Camerounians have been attacked by police, politicians, the media, and even members of their own communities if they are suspected of having sexual relations with a person of the same sex.
Beyond these egregious human rights violations, the report’s findings demonstrate that LGBT Camerounians often have difficulty accessing medical and legal services (especially those who are HIV positive), and are likely to face physical and emotional abuse inside and outside their homes and lose custody of their children.
Describing prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as “both very personal and very public”, the report goes on to recommend that the government take urgent action to decriminalize such consensual conduct and to protect the full human rights of all Camerounians.
To learn more about IWHC’s work supporting the health and rights of the LGBT community in Cameroun, click here.