Myanmar

At a glance

  • Same-sex relations: illegal
  • Legal gender recognition: not possible
  • Registration of LGBTIQ organizations: not possible
  • Actions related to SOGI at UN: abstained from voting on IE SOGI in 2016

 

Overview

Since Myanmar’s political reforms from 2011-2015, LGBTIQ people have had some of their human rights recognized; however, there are still significant barriers to LGBTIQ equality. Myanmar’s Penal Code 377 prohibiting “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” is still in force, and contributes to widespread antipathy towards LGBTIQ people. The law provides legal coverage for police targeting, harassment and extortion of LGBTIQ people. Transgender people are particularly vulnerable to these human rights violations, due to lack of legal gender recognition procedures.

Myanmar remains a conservative country, which emphasizes “traditional” culture and values. As such, societal opinion of LGBTIQ people is generally negative. LGBTIQ people are subject to violence, harassment, discrimination, and social rejection both in public and in private. Additionally, the media spreads misinformation about the LGBTIQ community by perpetuating harmful stereotypes. Despite these barriers, LGBTIQ people have recently experienced greater visibility and support around the country.