YUVArticles

LGBT Rights in Mauritius: Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2

This house believes that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights in Mauritius are legally complicated and vague.

Although the law is silent on the topic of homosexuality and gender identity itself, sodomy is illegal and banned by the laws of the county. The nation was one of the 66 signatories of support for the UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity. Furthermore, although same-sex relationships are not recognised, LGBT people are protected from any kind of discrimination with the constitution guaranteeing the right of individuals to private life.

Laws about same-sex sexual activity

According to the Section 250 of the Mauritius Criminal Code of 1838, “Any person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy […] shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.”

The age of consent in Mauritius is 16. Article 249 ‘Rape, attempt upon chastity and illegal sexual intercourse’ of the Penal Code: (…) Any person who has sexual intercourse with a female ‘under the age of sixteen (16), even with consent, shall be liable to penal servitude not exceeding ten (10) years.

Discrimination

The Equal Opportunities Act 2008 prohibits employers from discriminating against persons based on their sexual orientation, with “sexual orientation” being defined to mean “homosexuality (including lesbianism), bisexuality or heterosexuality”.

Adoption of children

According to a 2006 report, adoptive parents may be either single or married. LGBT persons are not specifically disqualified.

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.

LGBT rights organisations

In Mauritius, there are several organisations for the LGBT community.

Founded in 2005, Collectif Arc en Ciel (“Rainbow Collective”) is the primary organisation for the LGBT community in Mauritius. The party fights homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Founded in 1996, Pils is a centre for individuals with HIV/AIDS in the country, and also a place for the prevention and education of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Founded in 2014, the Young Queer Alliance is a youth-led organisation mainly for support, empowerment and protect the young LGBTQIA in Mauritius.

Founded in 2011, Association VISA G is an organisation mainly for Transgender people in Mauritius. VISA G is involved in legal support and empowerment of Trans.

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes However anal sex is illegal punishable with 5 years imprisonment.
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes Since 2008
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
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 Emblem-question.svg
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

Invitation 

YUVA invites you to attend the debate on this whole issue of LGBT Rights in Mauritius as the topic for the Session 2 of Mauritius Youth Parliament (MYP).

Facebook cover: LGBT Rights in Mauritius, Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2
Facebook cover: LGBT Rights in Mauritius, Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2
Poster: LGBT Rights in Mauritius, Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2
Poster: LGBT Rights in Mauritius, Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 2

Note to participants

  • You can use the language you are most comfortable in;
  • Disagreements are bound to occur during the debate, but make sure you respect others’ point of view;
  • The session will be photographed and photographs will be posted on public online forums; and
  • You can send your questions on this topic by commenting below in this post.

1 October: International Day of Older Persons

On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly (by resolution 45/106) designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons.

This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing – which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing – and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly.

In 1991, the General Assembly (by resolution 46/91) adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons.

In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.

The theme of the 2015 commemoration is “Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment”.

Living up to the Secretary-General’s guiding principle of “Leaving No-One Behind” necessitates the understanding that demography matters for sustainable development and that population dynamics will shape the key developmental challenges that the world in confronting in the 21st century. If our ambition is to “Build the Future We Want”, we must address the population over 60 which is expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2030.

Background

The composition of the world population has changed dramatically in recent decades. Between 1950 and 2010 life expectancy worldwide rose from 46 to 68 years, and it is projected to increase to 81 by the end of the century. It should be noted that at present women outnumber men by an estimated 66 million among those aged 60 years or over. Among those aged 80 years or over, women are nearly twice as numerous as men, and among centenarians women are between four and five times as numerous as men. For the first time in human history, in 2050, there will be more persons over 60 than children in the world.

Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 per cent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world, with Asia as the region with the largest number of older persons, and Africa facing the largest proportionate growth. With this in mind, enhanced attention to the particular needs and challenges faced by many older people is clearly required. Just as important, however, is the essential contribution the majority of older men and women can continue to make to the functioning of society if adequate guarantees are in place. Human rights lie at the core of all efforts in this regard.

The introduction of new policies and programmes

During the last decade, population ageing has led to the introduction of new policies and programmes, in which the social sector has taken centre stage, as shown by the majority of contributions to the present report. Many Governments in developed and developing economies have designed or piloted innovative policies in the health, social security or welfare systems. In addition, several policy framework documents, including national plans of action on ageing have been enacted. Specific age-related legislative measures in areas as varied as building codes, licensing and monitoring of care centres and vocational training have also begun to emerge. All levels of government, from local to national, have taken a share in this responsibility, and have either created new institutions or renewed existing ones to seek ways of gradually responding to the challenges faced by older persons.

Understanding the roles of older persons in family and society

Government institutions have chosen diverse approaches in setting priorities. These choices highlight different perceptions of the role that older people play in the family and in society at large. In some cases, measures aim to capture the rapidly evolving dynamics of communities and societies, inviting a second look at current perceptions about older persons and work, elder-care mechanisms, intergenerational support systems and financial constraints. Some Governments have designed policies founded on the principle of active ageing and autonomy, aimed at facilitating the continuation of independent lives at home, with services and facilities that cater for various types of needs. Others emphasize family ties and support for the family unit as the primary source of care for older persons. In all cases, a network of private actors, including various volunteer organizations and community-based centres, are essential to the smooth functioning of the entire system.

Of special resonance is the situation of older women who face inequalities as a result of their gender-based roles in society. Gender relations structure the entire life cycle, influencing access to resources and opportunities, with an impact that is both ongoing and cumulative. The different circumstances that shape the lives of women and men in old age are the outcome of a lifetime of experience. Good health, economic security, adequate housing, an enabling environment, access to land or other productive resources, these are the fundamentals of ageing with dignity, yet achieving them depends on decisions and choices only partly determined by each individual. The impact of gender inequalities in education and employment becomes most pronounced in old age. As a result, older women are more likely than older men to be poor. Furthermore, older women often take on greater responsibilities for family care while managing inflexible working conditions, mandatory retirement ages and inadequate pensions and other social security benefits, which leave them, and those in their care, extremely vulnerable. Without doubt, ageing, its human rights challenges and its feminization constitute an unprecedented shift in the social fabric of all societies, with far-reaching consequences.

Addressing the situation

The international community started to highlight the situation of older persons in the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, adopted at the World Assembly on Ageing in 1982. The 1991 United Nations Principles for Older Persons, the 1992 Global Targets on Ageing for the Year 2001 and the 1992 Proclamation on Ageing further advanced international understanding of essential requirements for the well-being of older persons.

The Political Declaration and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002, adopted at the Second World Assembly on Ageing, and endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 57/167, reinvigorated the political consensus on an agenda on ageing, emphasizing development and international cooperation and assistance in this area. Since its adoption, the Madrid International Plan has guided the drafting of policies and programmes at the national level, inspired the development of national and regional plans and provided an international framework for dialogue.

The Madrid International Plan of Action

In the Political Declaration adopted in Madrid, Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, and called for the elimination of age discrimination, neglect, abuse and violence. More specifically, the Madrid International Plan contained guidance on the right to work, the right to health, participation and equality of opportunity throughout life, stressing the importance of the participation of older persons in decision-making processes at all levels.

The priorities set out in the Madrid International Plan of Action include a wide range of issues: equal employment opportunities for all older persons; programmes that enable all workers to acquire social protection and social security, including, where applicable, pensions, disability insurance and health benefits; and sufficient minimum income for all older persons, with particular attention to socially and economically disadvantaged groups. The importance of continuous education, vocational guidance and placement services are also stressed, including for the purpose of maintaining a maximum functional capacity and enhancing public recognition of the productivity and the contributions of older persons. Health is also a key feature of the Madrid Plan of Action. The provisions encompass notions of prevention, equal access to health care, active participation, the impact of HIV/AIDS in respect to older persons and the full functionality of supportive and care-giving environments.

Basic Human Rights

There are numerous obligations vis-à-vis older persons implicit in most core human rights treaties despite the lack of specific provisions focusing on them. Such instruments apply to older persons in the same way as to all other people, providing protection for essential human rights, including the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, freedom from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment and equality before the law as well as for an adequate standard of living without discrimination on any grounds.

Article source: United Nations

Choosing my Avatar: Master or slave?

YUVA together with Judy Johnson is organising a workshop on the 3rd October 2015 under the theme: Choosing my Avatar: Master or slave? This conference will be held at Brahma Kumaris Centre, Global Peace House in Khoyrati as from 12.30 p.m to 4.30 p.m.

Judy Johnson, consultant and coach in the field of leadership development and organizational effectiveness from Canada invites you all to join her for a workshop that will help you to better choose you Avatar. YUVA is collaborating with her as it will benefit all our youngsters in exploring the ways and means to go beyond all your limitations and barriers in achieving excellence in life.

Judy works in the field of organizational effectiveness and leadership development. With a background in adult education, intercultural effectiveness, leadership and team development, she specialises in facilitating clarity in complex organizational and group situations. She assists in uncovering the inherent strengths in organizations and individuals, enhancing their ability to create and sustain focused, purposeful and positive directions.

Judy is adept in the areas of process facilitation, team development, principled negotiation, conflict resolution, experiential education design and delivery, needs assessment and program evaluation. She works with government, private sector and community-based programs and organizations in international and intercultural settings. Listed are examples of recent projects.

Judy has the ability to select and blend appropriate process tools to create clarity in groups, focus the will of the group in a common direction and enhance relationships and commitment to a collective endeavour. Through the use of silence, teaming strategies, reflective inquiry, and experiential activities, Judy uses an appreciative inquiry approach to facilitate strategic planning, teambuilding and conflict resolution retreats to strengthen organizational and group effectiveness. She facilitates consensus-building gatherings between multiple stakeholders in diverse contexts.

She has also been working directly with leaders at all levels of organizations in a one on one basis to support values-based leadership approach. In the coaching role, she acts as a sounding board and mirror to support and challenge assumptions guiding leadership approaches. In a facilitator role she works with leadership teams and/or develops programs to enhance leadership within the organization. She brings a perspective rooted in the principle that it is individual change that creates systems change and recognition that when leaders are focused on a purpose greater than profit or products will their organizations thrive.

Judy has designed and facilitated intercultural effectiveness orientation and debriefing sessions for Canadians travelling overseas as CIDA-sponsored professionals. Based on her own overseas project management work in India, Latin America and Southeast Asia, she also brings the intercultural effectiveness paradigm and approach to her work with interdisciplinary healthcare teams who cross professional cultures to work more effectively together. The principles guiding her approach to these sessions include a focus on self-awareness and self-mastery, intercultural awareness, and project management strategies.

We invite all young people to come and visit us on the 3rd of October 2015 for a very inspiring moment on how to be a good leader.

Questions: Mauritius Youth Parliament, Session 1

Le 25 septembre, YUVA organise un atelier pour trouver des solutions pour améliorer la qualité de vie de nos animaux.

C’est fini l’époque où les animaux n’étaient appréciés en fonction de leur utilité. Désormais, ils éveillent en nous de vraies émotions et nous sommes nombreux à les considérer comme faisant partie de la famille. Qu’est-ce qui suscite en nous cet amour pour ces petits êtres sans défense? C’est peut-être le fait que nos animaux domestiques nous donnent un amour inconditionnel et peut importe qui est son maitre, son animal l’idolâtra. Si l’humain peut devenir l’ange gardien d’un animal il est également son ennemi. Regardez donc autour de vous, si un enfant dit adorer les chiens, certains adorent taquiner les chats en tirant leurs oreilles ou en écrasant leurs queues. Combien de fois avons-nous arraché les ailes des mouches sans états d’âme? Selon Freud, « l’enfant est un pervers polymorphe qui fait feu de tout bois pour satisfaire ses pulsions ». Cependant, en grandissant, ils changent et traitent bien les animaux car ils trouvent en eux des amis. Malheureusement, si Maurice est connu comme l’ile paradisiaque, il ne l’est pas pour la race canine.

Question 1

Doberman, American Staffordshire et autres molosses sont considérés comme étant dangereux. Cependant, malgré l’interdiction d’importer ces chiens de races, on voit que les Mauriciens sont nombreux à vendre ces chiens sur les réseaux sociaux. Nous savons qu’entre 2012 à 2014 nous avons eu plus de 5 cas d’attaques contre l’homme. Le ‘Dangerous Dogs Bill’ avait prévu d’interdire l’importation d’une vingtaine de races, parmi le Rottweiller. Ce projet de loi parviendra-t-il à mettre fin aux attaques de molosses?

Qu’est-ce que les autorités concernées font pour renforcer les lois contre l’importation de ces molosses ?

Question 2

Nous constations que les Mauriciens sont nombreux à vendre toutes sortes de chiens sur Facebook. Parmi nous repérons les griffons, les Rottweilers, les Bergers Allemands et les Doberman. Or la majorité de ces personnes n’ont pas de permis et ne nourrissent ces animaux dans de mauvaises conditions. Le frais d’enregistrement pour 1-5 chiens est à Rs 10 000, 6-10 chiens à Rs 25 000 et plus de 10 à Rs 100 000. Les éleveurs sont nombreux à ne pas avoir un permis et en conséquent les autorités n’arrivent pas à faire un suivi sur les conditions de vie des chiens.

Ne croyez-vous pas que si les autorités concernées baissaient le cout de ce frais d’enregistrement, plus de personnes auraient respecté la loi en ayant leur permis d’éleveurs comme la loi le recommande?

Question 3 et 4

La MSAW enfreignent toutes les lois sur le respect des animaux, sans exception. Des chiens errants, capturés aux quatre coins de l’île, sont poussés hors de fourgonnettes à coups de jets d’eau glacée dès leur arrivée à la fourrière. Ils sont ensuite entassés en meutes dans des niches insalubres, où ils attendront durant trois jours la mort. Pire encore, la mise à mort des chiens est réalisée avec une extrême brutalité. Le gouvernement avait aboli l’euthanasie, et promu une nouvelle politique pour l’éradication des chiens errants en ligne avec les pratiques internationales. Malheureusement, après les dernières élections, le ministre du Tourisme et le ministre de l’Environnement ont décidé de rétablir l’euthanasie, et ont lancé une vaste campagne d’éradication.

Est-ce que l’euthanasie est une solution pour éradiquer le problème des chiens errants? Que fait le gouvernement pour cesser ces pratiques barbares envers les animaux ?

Question 5

La majorité de nos chiens errants ont un maitre qui les a abandonnés. Les statistiques disent qu’il y a une population de 57 000 chiens errants et que parmi 20 % ont des maitres qui les laissent se promener librement dans les rues. Certains maitres les abandonnent carrément sur le parking d’un super marché ou dans un endroit retiré.

Pour mettre fin à ce problème, le gouvernement ne devrait-il pas mettre une loi pour obliger les propriétaires des chiens à déclarer leurs animaux de compagnie?

Question 6 et 7

En 2014, le Ministère de l’Agro Industry avait fait un projet pilote « Mauritius Humane Dog Population Management ». Dans ce projet, les autorités concernées voulaient collaborer avec les différentes ONG pour faire une grande campagne de stérilisation à travers l’ile. Ce projet incluait de recruter plusieurs vétérinaires afin de les former pour aller dans plusieurs districts pour stériliser les animaux.

Combien de nouveaux vétérinaires a-t-on recruté dans le secteur public?

Ce projet parlait également de trouver un car automobile équipéé de tous les matériels adéquats pour bouger dans la localité des propriétaires étant donné que certaines personnes ne peuvent pas se déplacer dans les différents centres pour stériliser leurs chiens?

Est-ce que projet a été mis en place? Combien de chiens a-t-on stérilisé jusqu’à présent?

Question 8

Nous savons que PAWS recueille les animaux pour lui trouver un foyer. Est-ce que la MSAW en fait de même ou tue-t-elle tous les chiens capturés?

Nous savons que sur les réseaux sociaux, une bonne poignée de personnes sont en train de chercher des familles pour les chiens errants spécialement les chiots.

Est-ce que les autorités ne devraient-ils pas encourager ces personnes en les fournissant l’aide nécessaire incluant de la nourriture ou des vaccins gratuits en attendant que ces personnes trouvent un foyer pour les animaux?

Question 9

Malgré la campagne intensive Save Our Monkeys lancée par la British Union Against Vivisection (BUAV) à Maurice, la vente de singes aux laboratoires étrangers pour les besoins de la recherche médicale ne ralentit pas. En 2014, de janvier à juin 4 918 macaques ont été exportés. Entre janvier et juin 2010, 3 088 primates ont été exportés pour une somme totale de Rs 367,5 millions, soit une moyenne d’environ Rs 120 000 par animal. L’exportation de singes pour des recherches médicales se font notamment en France, Italie, Allemagne, Canada, Mexique, Singapour, Espagne, le Royaume-Uni et Etats-Unis. Ils sont attrapés par la queue ou les pattes et balancés dans une cage ; d’autres sont tatoués sans anesthésie ou se font enfoncer des aiguilles dans les paupières… Ce serait là le traitement infligé à des macaques dans une ferme mauricienne.

Que compte faire les autorités pour donner un meilleur traitement aux singes? 

Question 10

Il faudrait savoir que Maurice n’a pas seulement un problème de chiens errants mais également de chats errants qui finissent souvent sous les roues des voitures. Un couple de chats non stérilisés peut engendrer une descendance de plus de 20 000 chats en quatre ans? À PAWS les chats sont nombreux à attendre qu’une famille les adopte. Ce qui est difficile car arrivé à l’âge adulte, les chats ont des difficultés à s’habituer à un étranger.

Nous parlons de stérilisation des chiens, qu’est-ce que les ONG et le gouvernement fait en ce qui concerne les problèmes de chats errants?

YUVA souhaite une bonne fête de l’Eid-al-Adha à tous les musulmans

Alors que la semaine dernière nous avons fêté le Ganesh Chaturti, les musulmans, eux, célébreront l’Eid-al-Adha, aussi connue comme Bakr-Eid, ce jeudi 24 septembre 2015.

L’Eid-al-Adha aussi connu comme Bakr-Eid est célébrée le 10e jour du dernier mois du calendrier islamique, Dhu al-Hijjah. Les musulmans célèbre cette fête pour commémorer le jour où Abraham a accepté de sacrifier la vie de son fils sous l’ordre de Dieu. Ce dernier voulant le mettre à l’épreuve a cependant substitué son fils Ismaël par un mouton à la dernière minute. Tous les ans, les musulmans célèbrent ainsi l’Eid-al-Adha en souvenir de la soumission d’Abraham à la volonté de Dieu.

L’Eid-al-Adha marque également la fin du pèlerinage à la Mecque. Le Hadj est le cinquième pilier de l’Islam, les quatre précédents étant (i) la « shahada » — la foi dans l’unicité de Dieu et de la prophétie du prophète Mahomet (pssl) ; (ii) la « swalaat » — les cinq prières quotidiennes ; (iii) le « saum », le jeûne du mois du Ramadan ; et (iv) la « zakat », l’aumône aux pauvres .Pour cette occasion, les musulmans devront procéder au « Qurbani » ce qui est de sacrifier un bœuf. Rituel qui se déroule en présence de religieux, entre autres, car l’abattage doit être fait selon les règles islamiques précises. Les célébrations se poursuivront autour d’un bon briani entre familles et amis. Il est à noter que la viande du bœuf est reparti en 3 parts : une pour le musulman et les siens, une autre pour les proches et membres de la famille et la dernière qui sera distribuée aux pauvres et démunis de la communauté.

Cette fête qui est plus qu’un simple événement religieux est l’occasion pour se rencontrer avec la famille et les proches, elle est aussi synonyme de partage et de générosité envers les pauvres et les nécessiteux.

Tous les YUVANs se rejoignent pour souhaiter à tous les musulmans une bonne fête de l’Eid-al-Adha.