Police protection available to homosexuals (1999-2000) [JAM35108.E]

Homosexual acts in Jamaica are criminalized under the Offences Against the Person Act, which prohibits "acts of gross indecency" (IGLHRC Apr. 2000; Reuters 16 Dec. 1998). The constitution provides for equal treatment before the law, but restricts the scope of its own protections, preserving and exempting colonial-era laws such as the Offences Against the Person Act that predate the constitution (IGLHRC Apr. 2000).

No reports on the police protection available to homosexuals could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

On 31 January 1999 Caribbean Today, in a report on the situation of homosexuals in Jamaica, reported that in Jamaica "people [have been] abused by the police on the suspicion that they are gay. And ... it is [rare] for these same police to investigate a murder when it appears the victim's death was connected to him being gay."

The Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), a gay rights group, was unable to provide information within the time constraints of this Repospnse.

For information on the situation of homosexuals in Jamaica, please consult JAM33304.E of 7 December 1999. For information on the police and judicial system in Jamaica, please consult Country Reports 1999. Additional information on the police can be found in JAM33392.E of 13 December 1999.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Caribbean Today. 31 January 1999. Gilbert Dunkley. "Jamaica Should Make Its Gay Citizens Welcome." (The Ethnic NewsWatch/NEXIS)

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). April 2000. "Action Alert: Support the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation as a Protected Category in the Jamaican Constitution." http://www.iglhrc.org/world/mex_centam_carib/Jamaica2000Apr.html [Accessed 21 Aug. 2000]

Reuters. 16 December 1998. "Jamaica Will Not Abolish Ban on Homosexuality." http://www.geocities.com [Accessed 21 Aug. 2000]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases.


World News Connection (WNC).

One oral source contacted.

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International.

Gay/Lesbian International News Network (GLINN).

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).

International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA).

Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG)

Magnus Hirschfeld Center for Human Rights.