Sub-Saharan Africa and the Politics of Same-Sex Relationships: Human Rights vs. Criminal Law

Augustine Arimoro, Habiba Musa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The argument in support of the rights of sexual minorities in sub-Saharan Africa should be secondary to the argument for the decriminalization of consensual same-sex intimacy. So long as sexual minorities are classed as criminals and deviants, it might be difficult to champion sexual minority rights as a human right. This chapter adopts an approach that queries the criminalization of same-sex sexual conduct among consenting adults in private. The chapter discusses crime from the perspective of the criminal law theories of harm, morality, and paternalism. It is argued in the chapter that because states determine what rights are guaranteed within their jurisdiction, if states can rethink what conduct of behavior should be criminalized, then states might guarantee sexual minority rights as human rights. The chapter recommends repealing laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct among adults in the states in sub-Saharan Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Perspectives on the LGBT Community and Non-Discrimination
EditorsAugustine Arimoro
Place of PublicationHershey PA
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages183
ISBN (Electronic)9781668424308
ISBN (Print)9781668424285
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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