Last Updated: Friday, 29 August 2014, 14:18 GMT

Antigua and Barbuda: Treatment of homosexuals by society and government authorities; legal recourse and protection available

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board du Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 23 November 2006
Citation / Document Symbol ATG102091.E
Reference 7
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Antigua and Barbuda: Treatment of homosexuals by society and government authorities; legal recourse and protection available, 23 November 2006, ATG102091.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f147e22.html [accessed 29 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Information on the treatment of homosexuals by society and government authorities in Antigua and Barbuda was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

According to an article published by Act Up-Paris, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working to fight the spread of AIDS (Act Up-Paris 27 Sept. 2002), homosexuality is not illegal in Antigua and Barbuda (ibid. 17 May 2005; AI July 2006). However, Act Up-Paris states that homosexuals are discriminated against (17 May 2005; see also Ottoson 2000, 2).

Articles 12 and 15 of Antigua and Barbuda's Sexual Offences Act, 1995 state that:

12. (1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment -

(a) for life, if committed by an adult on a minor;

(b) for fifteen years, if committed by an adult on another adult;

(c) for five years, if committed by a minor.

(2) In this section "buggery" means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.

15. (1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment

(a) for ten years, if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years of age;

(b) for five years, if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age of more,

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency committed in private between -

(a) a husband and his wife; or

(b) a male person and a female person each of whom is sixteen years of age or more;

both of whom consent to the commission of the act.

(3) An act of "serious indecency" is an act, other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person involving the use of the genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire. (Antigua and Barbuda 21 July 1995)

Article 2 of Antigua and Barbuda's Sexual Offences Act, 1995 states that a "minor" is "a person under eigthteen years of age." (21 July 1995). According to a report published by the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), Article 12 of the Antigua and Barbuda's Sexual Offences Act, 1995 applies to men who have sex with men and Paragraph 1b of Article 15 also "applie[s] ... to lesbian acts" (Ottoson 2006, 2).

An article published by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) indicates that public perception of homosexuals is negative and homophobia is present in the Caribbean (27 June 2006; US 20 June 2006, 3). Specifically, a United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) report notes that homosexuality is stigmatized in Antiguan society (2006).

No information on legal recourse and protection available to homosexuals in Antigua and Barbuda could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Act Up-Paris. 17 May 2005. "Journée mondiale contre l'homophobie : cartographie de l'homophobie." [Accessed 15 Nov. 2006]
_____. 27 September 2002. "Rejoignez-nous." [Accessed 22 Nov. 2006]

Amnesty International (AI). July 2006. AI Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network. "Sexual Minorities and the Law: A World Survey." [Accessed 7 Nov. 2006]

Antigua and Barbuda. 21 July 1995. Ministry of Legal Affairs. The Sexual Offences Act, 1995. [Accessed 15 Nov. 2006]

Ottosson, Daniel. 2006. Södertön University, Stocklom. "Legal Survey on the Countries in the World Having Legal Prohibitions on Sexual Activities Between Consenting Adults in Private." (International Lesbian and Gay Association, ILGA). [Accessed 15 Nov. 2006]

United Nations (UN). 27 July 2006. Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). "Caribbean." [Accessed 7 Nov. 2006]
_____. 2006. United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS). "Antigua and Barbuda." UNGASS Report 2005. [Accessed 17 Nov. 2006]

United States (US). 20 June 2006. Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service CRS). Mark P. Sullivan. "HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean and Central America." CRS Report for Congress. (RL32001) [Accessed 15 Nov. 2006]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral Source: The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) did not provide information within the time constraints of this Response.

Internet Sources, including: Caribeean Net News [Cayman Islands], Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Gay.com, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Organization of American States (OAS).

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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