Nauru LGBT Laws

Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 27 May 2016, the Government of Nauru announced the passing of the Crimes Act 2016, amending the Criminal Code 1899 to decriminalise homosexuality [R1.3].

Previously:

Criminal Code of Queensland in its application to Nauru on 1 July 1921 [L1.2]

Section 208. Unnatural Offences

Any person who:

(1) Has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(2) Has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(3) Permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature; is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment with hard labour for fourteen years.

Section 209. Attempt to commit Unnatural Offences

Any person who attempts to commit any of the crimes defined in the last preceding section is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment with hard labour for seven years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

Section 211. Indecent Practices between Males

Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment with hard labour for three years.


On 14 February 2011, it was reported that Nauru had pledged to decriminalise homosexuality following an audit of their human rights as part of the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) [R1.1]

R1.3 Government Media Release: Nauru Government updates Criminal Code 27 MAY 16
L1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 380.51kb, MAY 11
R1.1 PinkPaper: São Tomé and Príncipe to legalise gay sex 14 FEB 11