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Advocacy, Section 377
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Advocacy

Advocacy is integral to all programmes at Naz India. We continue to challenge assumptions around sexual health issues and work to influence the government’s health policy.

Naz advocates for the right to non-discriminatory treatment of positive people and fights to ensure that instances of discrimination are addressed appropriately.

Naz has strong linkages with human rights groups and agencies such as Lawyers Collective, Human Rights Law Network, Amnesty International, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. NI has collaborated with these agencies to address cases of sexual rights abuse.

Naz India has worked with the police in Delhi. We conducted weekly training workshops for police personnel to build awareness of HIV/AIDS and tackle issues of discrimination, physical harassment, corruption and human rights.

Section 377

Delhi High Court decriminalizes consensual homosexual sex between adults


Naz India’s eight-year-long battle sees a successful conclusion!

Click here to view the judgement on Section 377

Naz India’s efforts in sensitising the government to different issues related to the epidemic include the amendment of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, known as the anti-sodomy law. This act criminalises same sex sexual behaviour irrespective of the consent of the people involved, and thereby proved to be one of the most significant barriers in effective HIV/AIDS interventions with sexual minorities.

MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) in India were penalised under Section 377, which could be used against anyone who ‘voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature’. The law was often exploited by the police and others to harass, extort money from, blackmail, and even rape MSM, mainly those from the lower socio-economic classes who have little knowledge of their rights. Section 377 was used by the police to restrict gay-related activities and to justify raids on parties and events.

In September 2001, Naz India filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to challenge Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in the Delhi High Court.

On July 2, 2009, the Delhi High Court pronounced that Section 377 should be read down to exclude consensual sex between adults. “We declare that Section 377 IPC, insofar it criminalizes consensual sexual acts of adults in private, is violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution”, ruled Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar in the case of Naz Foundation (India) Trust vs. Government of NCT, Delhi and others.

We heartily welcome this verdict, which shows respect for human rights – irrespective of one’s sexuality or sexual orientation.