Cameroon

I. Penal Code of 1965 and 1967, as Amended in 1972

a. Article 295 Private Indecency (1) Shall be punished by imprisonment of fifteen days to two years and a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 francs, or by only one of these two sentences, any person who, even in a private space, commits an act of indecency in the presence of a non-consenting person of one sex or the other.

b. Article 346 Indecency to Child/Minor Under 16 (1) Shall be punished by imprisonment of two to five years and a fine of 20,000 to 200,000 francs, any person who commits an act of indecency in the presence of a minor under sixteen. (2) Sentences are doubled if the indecency is committed with violence or if the offender is one of the persons referred to in Article 298* (3) The sentence is a term of imprisonment of ten to fifteen years' imprisonment if the offender had sexual intercourse, even with the consent of the victim. (4) In case of rape, the term of imprisonment ranges from fifteen to twenty-five years. Life imprisonment applies if the offender is one of the persons referred to in Article 298.

c. Article 347 - Indecent act against a minor from 16 to 21) (1 In the case of the offenses referred to in Articles 295, 296 and 347 bis were committed against a minor person aged between sixteen and twenty-one years old, the penalties provided in the above-mentioned articles shall be doubled. (...)

d. Article 347 (a) – Homosexuality Shall be punished by imprisonment of six months to five years and a fine of 20,000 to 200,000 francs (CFA) any person who has sex with a person of their sex.

Source: Cameroonian Penal Code as amended in 1972 in French. Translation by Floriane Levebre.

Additional Resources

IGLHRC Shadow Report: The Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights in Cameroon (June 2010)

Same-sex sexual relations, as well as other “indecent” conducts are criminalized by the Cameroonian Penal Code under the chapter of “Felonies and Misdemeanors against Private Interest.” Article 295 criminalizes “private indecency;” article 346 condemns “indecency to child under sixteen;” article 346 criminalizes “indecency to minor between sixteen and twenty-one;” and article 347 condemns “sex with the person of the same sex.”

See Alternatives-Cameroun, “Projet Atteintes aux bonnes moeurs (Project 347 bis).” The report on the project was released in December 2007 (in file with Alternatives-Cameroun).

See also "Criminalizing Identities: Rights Abuses in Cameroon Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity"