LGBT rights in Burundi
|Status||Illegal since 2009|
|Penalty||3 months to 2 years imprisonment, fine|
|Recognition of relationships||No recognition of same-sex unions|
|Restrictions||Same-sex marriage banned constitutionally since 2005|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Burundi face legal issues not experienced by non-LGBT citizens. Burundi criminalises same-sex sexual activity by both men and women, with a penalty up to two years in prison and a fine. LGBT persons are regularly prosecuted by the government and additionally face stigmatisation among the broader population.
Legality of same-sex sexual activity
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.[Note 1]
On 1 July 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. 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. On 2 November 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.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
Adoption and family planning
According to a website of the French government, single and married people are eligible to adopt children. The website does not say whether single LGBT people are disqualified or not.
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.
|Same-sex sexual activity legal.||(Penalty: Up to 2 years imprisonment)|
|Equal age of consent|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment only|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)|
|Same-sex marriages||(Constitutional ban since 2005)|
|Recognition of same-sex couples|
|Step-child adoption by same-sex couples|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples|
|Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military|
|Right to change legal gender|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|
- 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.
- 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.
- LGBT Rights in Burundi
- "State Sponsored Homophobia 2016: A world survey of sexual orientation laws: criminalisation, protection and recognition" (PDF). International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- BURUNDI 2012 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- BURUNDI 2014 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- BURUNDI 2016 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- BURUNDI 2015 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- BURUNDI 2013 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- BURUNDI 2011 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- BURUNDI 2010 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- BURUNDI 2009 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- BURUNDI 2008 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
- Article 29, Constitution Interimaire Post-Transition de la Republique du Burundi, Ministere de la Justice, Republique du Burundi Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- "Fiches pays Adoption: Burundi", France Diplomatie, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Google translation
- International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission — Burundi information