Nauru becomes latest country to stop punishing people for gay sex by law

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NAURU, NAURU: The barren and bankrupt island state of the Republic of Nauru awaits the arrival of 521 mainly Afghan refugees, 11 September 2001 which have been refused entry into Australia. The 25-square-kilometers of land encompassing Nauru has been devastated by phosphate mining which once made the Micronesian Nauruans the second wealthiest people per capita on earth. AFP PHOTO/Torsten BLACKWOOD (Photo credit should read TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

It is a small island country in Micronesia, its population is no bigger than 10 thousand people, but it has made a big step recently. The Nauru government on Friday announced that its Parliament had passed the ‘Crimes Act 2016’ to bring the nation’s century-old criminal code up to international human rights standards; bringing through changes from decriminalising attempted suicide and homosexuality to adopting a modern definition of rape.

Gay people will not be put to death or imprisoned for a long term just because of their homosexuality. A statement from the government said: “The Government of Nauru continues to show progressive leadership and in keeping with its legislative agenda, has passed a new number of laws including the decriminalising of homosexuality and suicide. In complying with its international obligations under various international treaties, The Nauru Parliament has had laws drafted to be consistent with appropriate international standards.”

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