LGBT rights in Burundi

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LGBT rights in Burundi Burundi
Burundi in its region.svg
Same-sex sexual intercourse legal status Illegal since 2009[1]
3 months to 2 years imprisonment, fine
Military service Unknown
Discrimination protections Unknown
Family rights
Constitution bans same-sex marriage
Adoption Unknown

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Burundi face legal issues not experienced by non-LGBT citizens. Burundi criminalizes same-sex sexual activity by both men and women.

Laws regarding same-sex sexual intercourse[edit]

According to an unofficial English translation of Article 567 of the Burundi Penal Code, a person who has sexual relations with someone of the same sex may be punished with imprisonment for three months to two years and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 francs.[2][Note 1]

On July 1, 2009, a young man was arrested for allegedly committing sexual violence against a club patron in Bujumbura. The police later stated the man was arrested for being gay but offered to release the suspect in exchange for money. Advocacy by human rights NGOs and the LGBT community helped secure his release from police custody. In 2012, two lesbians were briefly arrested and subsequently released.[3] In September 2014, a Vietnamese employee of the telephone company Viettel was caught in sexual relations with a Burundian man in Karuzi Province. The Burundian man alleged that it was non-consensual sex, and the Vietnamese man was detained. Authorities dropped the case after three days for lack of evidence.[4] On November 2, 2016, the High Court of Cibitoke Province sentenced a 15-year-old boy who admitted to the rape of a seven-year-old boy to one year in prison. The adolescent was charged with rape of a minor and homosexuality.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Article 29 of the Burundi Constitution bans same-sex marriage.[12][Note 2]

Adoption of children[edit]

According to a website of the French government, single and married people are eligible to adopt children. The website does not say whether LGBT people are disqualified.[13]

Living conditions[edit]

The U.S. Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016 stated that:

Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The law criminalizes same-sex sexual acts with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment of three months to two years. According to Burundi Africa Generation News, on November 2, the High Court of Cibitoke Province sentenced a 15-year-old boy who admitted to the rape of a seven-year-old boy to one year in prison. The adolescent was charged with rape of a minor and homosexuality. There were no other reports of prosecution for homosexuality during the year. The Remuruka Center in Bujumbura offered urgent services to the LGBTI community. The government neither supported nor hindered the activities of local LGBTI organizations or the center.[5]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal No (Penalty: Up to 2 years imprisonment)
Equal age of consent No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No (Constitutional ban since 2005)
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military Emblem-question.svg
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The official text of Article 567 in French ("Burundi: Senate Upholds Human Rights Principles", International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, 20 February 2009):

    Quiconque fait des relations sexuelles avec la personne de même sexe est puni d’une servitude pénale de trois mois à deux ans et d’une amende de cinquante mille francs à cent mille francs ou d’une de ces peines seulement.

  2. ^ The official text of Article 29 in French (Constitution Interimaire Post-Transition de la Republique du Burundi Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.):

    La liberté de se marier est garantie, de même que le droit de choisir son ou sa partenaire. Le mariage ne peut être conclu qu’avec le libre et plein consentement des futurs époux. Le mariage entre deux personnes de même sexe est interdit.


External links[edit]