UN human rights chief Bachelet hails Botswana decision decriminalizing same-sex relationships

A landmark ruling by Botswana’s High Court that scraps laws against same-sex relationships has been welcomed by UN human rights top official, Michelle Bachelet.

In a statement on Tuesday the UN High Commissioner underlined that the High Court had “unanimously found sections of the Penal Code…to be unconstitutional and a violation of human rights”.

Such discrimination has impacts that go far beyond arrest and detention, Ms. Bachelet said, noting that the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people could lead to them being denied healthcare, education, employment and housing.

Botswana’s decision follows similar action in nine other countries in the past five years, including Angola, Belize, India and Trinidad and Tobago.

In Kenya last month, however, a similar constitutional challenge to overturn laws that discriminate against the LGBTI community, was unsuccessful.

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