Advocacy statements

Against Ghana’s Anti-LGBTI+ Bill

  • Date / 2021
  • Location / Ghana
  • Relevant Institution / UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Item / Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention


International Humanist and Ethical Union

48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (13 September 2021 to 08 October 2021)

General Debate Item 4

Madame President,


Next month, the ‘Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill’ will be considered for adoption by Ghana’s Parliament.[1]

According to a group of UN Special Procedures, this Bill “describes a system of State-sponsored discrimination and violence of such magnitude that its adoption […] would appear to constitute an immediate and fundamental breach of the State’s obligations under international human rights law.”[2]

If adopted, the Bill would impose a penalty of up to five years imprisonment for being LGBTI+ and a penalty of up to ten years imprisonment for anyone engaging in advocacy for LGBTI+ equality. It also places a obligation on citizens to report any conduct perceived to be of an ‘LGBTI nature.’[3]

Whilst the Bill seeks to restrict the global circulation of information that its authors allege embolden LGBTI+ activists;[4] it ignores the notable role of global religious advocacy organisations who export anti-rights extremism to Ghana,[5] giving legitimacy to anti-LGBTI+ movements there, such as the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family,[6] and promulgate the falsehood that LGBTI+ rights are a threat to freedom of religion or belief.[7]

Madame President, this proposed law is hateful and violates some of the most fundamental human rights, including freedoms of expression, association, assembly, and prohibition of torture. It is an affront to privacy, non-discrimination and human dignity, and in complete contravention to the ICCPR, to which Ghana is party.

We urge this Council to support UN Special Procedures in calling on Ghana’s government “to take all measures necessary to withdraw the proposed Bill from consideration,” and to investigate the actions of those behind a Bill grounded in such hate and intolerance.[8]

Thank you.



[1] https://cdn.modernghana.com/files/722202192224-0h830n4ayt-lgbt-bill.pdf

[2] https://ghana.un.org/sites/default/files/2021-08/Public%20-%20OL%20GHA%2003.08.21%20%283.2021%29.pdf, p23

[3] Currently, Under Ghana’s Criminal Code, consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized. LGBTI people are also subjected to hate speech and threats, and live in a climate of fear, hostility and intolerance. https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr28/4677/2021/en/; https://www.amnesty.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/AFR2846772021ENGLISH.pdf

[4] https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/08/10/homophobic-ghanaian-family-values-bill-odious-and-beggars-belief

[5] https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/american-led-pro-family-summit-in-ghana-condemned-for-shocking-white-supremacist-islamophobic-links/; https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/10/31/ghana-should-resist-world-congress-families-anti-lgbt-message

[6] According to Dr. Samuel Ofori Onwona, an Executive Member of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, https://capitalnewsonline.com/letter-to-the-government-of-ghana-from-the-so-called-un-experts/; see also https://newsghana.com.gh/comog-hails-the-promotion-of-ghanaian-family-values-draft-bill/

[7] https://humanists.international/what-we-do/advocacy/forb-good-practice-guide/?fbclid=IwAR0-b27VyL3461R_uGIwM1DbYRRoANAR6jCWTrf_L0f6S9vNpWCF0oEiCSY

[8] https://ghana.un.org/sites/default/files/2021-08/Public%20-%20OL%20GHA%2003.08.21%20%283.2021%29.pdf

Suggested academic reference

'Against Ghana's Anti-LGBTI+ Bill', Humanists International

WordPress theme developer - whois: Andy White London