Lesbian, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LBTI) people face several legal challenges in Seychelles despite legal developments in the last decade. In 2016, the Parliament voted to amend Section 151 of the Penal Code to decriminalise same-sex conduct. However, there is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
Protection from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been made possible through the 2006 amendment to the Employment Act 1995. Seychelles is one of the few African countries to provide this right to LBTI people. In the case of Mervin Jezabel Barbe, there was a blatant lack of recognition and protection of trans rights when the plaintiff decided to change their gender in official records; this case is currently at the UN Human Rights Committee. Seychelles also does not have a framework to protect intersex rights.
Seychelles received its first SOGIESC-focused recommendation at the 74th Session in 2019. The Committee urged the state to makes changes in its legislative policy to eliminate gender-based violence and discrimination against LBT women, including investigation, prosecution, and punishment of perpetrators and through awareness-raising methods to remove the stigma against LBTI identities.
The Committee also noted that while same-sex relationships have been decriminalised, it remains concerned about the acts of violence and systemic discrimination against LBT women. It welcomed the repeal of legal provisions that banned ‘sexual intercourse against the order of nature’ in 2016. The recommendation did not include intersex people in its ambit.
The List of Issues included a question on the State party’s next steps and strategy on the repealing of provisions that criminalised same-sex relationships, in the light of its commitments to do so under the universal periodic review.
Seychelles submitted its last State party report in 2018 and while there was no information on LBTI constituencies, there was a mention of an organisation that works on the rights of LBTI people called Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Seychelles (LGBTI-Sey) who are mobilising people and conducting a series of advocacy workshops with parliamentarians and service providers to explore their own attitudes and behaviours to eliminate stigma and discrimination and take appropriate remedial actions.