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Executive Summary

 

Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation has prepared this report with the input and support of VPride Foundation. This report has been prepared for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in respect of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Vanuatu.

Despite general human rights protections under the Constitution of Vanuatu (Constitution), there are very few legal protections against discrimination against a person based on their sexual orientation, and no protections at all against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex characteristics. While consensual same-sex activity is legal in Vanuatu, LGBTI persons face legal challenges and discrimination not experienced by non-LGBTI persons.

In particular, Vanuatu lacks laws and policies which:

(a) protect persons from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics in employment, education, health care, housing and the provision of goods and services;

(b) protect persons from hate crimes and violence on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics;

(c) aim to reduce stigma on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics; and (d) allow transgender people to change their gender markers on official documents, on the basis of self-determination.