Lesbian, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LBTI) people are subject to a wide range of human rights violations in Mauritius, despite reported positive developments. Consensual same-sex relationships are illegal in Mauritius – Section 250 of the Mauritius Penal Code of 1838 states that â€œany person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy … shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.” The rights of trans and intersex people are neither explicitly recognised nor protected under the law in Mauritius.
A few positive developments in Mauritius regarding LBTI rights came in the form of
- (a) the State party supported the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution (A/HRC/17/19) affirming the rights of LGBT people in June 2011;
- (b) adopting the Equal Opportunities Act 2008, and setting up the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Equal Opportunities Tribunal;
- (c)removing the ban against gay and lesbian people donating blood following a complaint at the Equal Opportunities Commission, and allied mediation procedures with government authorities.
The State party received its first SOGIESC-specific recommendation from the CEDAW Committee at the 71st Session. The Committee welcomed the inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ into the Equal Opportunities Act, which seeks to prohibit direct and indirect discrimination based on ‘sex’ in education and employment.
The Committee indicated its concern regarding the growing discrimination against LBTI people, the underreporting of violence and abuse faced by them, and the lack of policy measures pertaining to their rights. It was recommended that the State party adopt specific legal and policy measures to address and eliminate the discrimination and abuse through awareness-raising, especially for medical personnel, police, and law enforcement; and provision of access to shelters and support for survivors of violence.
The List of Issues did not have any SOGIESC-specific questions, but there was an inquiry on measures to address stereotypes against women.
The last State party report was submitted in 2020 and contained LBTI specific information “ Mauritius reported that they are yet to come up with policy measures pertaining specifically to the rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) and intersex women. However, under the Equal Opportunities Act, an act of discrimination means a less favourable treatment suffered by any individual on the basis of his/her age, caste, colour, creed, ethnic origin, impairment, marital status, place of origin, political opinion, race, sex and sexual orientation.