An official website of the United States government

HRC – Report of the UPR Working Group on Malawi
November 1, 2010

9th Session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group

UPR Session for Malawi

Statement by the Delegation of the United States

Delivered by Osman N. Tat

UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland

November 1, 2010

Thank you Mr. President:

The United States warmly welcomes Attorney General Dr. Jane Ansah and the Malawi delegation to the UPR Working Group and commends Malawi on the completion of its national report and its presentation today. We would like to raise the following issues and recommendation.

The United States commends Malawi for progress in aligning its national legislation with some international human rights conventions, through the passage of laws and the ratification of several international and regional treaties. These are important steps to ensure the continued protection of universal human rights in Malawi. While we take note of your statements in answer to advance questions concerning homosexuality in Malawi, we nonetheless are concerned by the criminalization of homosexual activity under Malawian law.

Bearing this in mind, the United States would like to make the following recommendation:

1. The United States recommends that Malawi decriminalize homosexual activity. We view the decriminalization of homosexuality as integral to the continued protection of universal human rights in Malawi. It is also crucial to the urgent need to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in Malawi. Although HIV/AIDS affects people irrespective of sexual orientation, criminalizing homosexuality may prevent individuals seeking information about or treatment for HIV/AIDS if they are afraid it may require them to reveal their sexual orientation. We remain disturbed by harassment and persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity wherever it occurs.

Thank you Mr. President