Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons
Acts of Violence, Criminalization, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity, or “unnatural offenses,” and conviction is punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment, including hard labor. Conviction of attempting “unnatural offenses” is punishable by seven years’ imprisonment. The penal code also criminalizes “indecent practices” between men as well as between women and provides for punishment of five years’ imprisonment if convicted. The government did not actively enforce these laws.
Same-sex sexual activity may also be prosecuted as “conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.”
The Center for the Development of People documented 15 instances of abuse based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The nature of the abuses fell into three broad categories: stigma, harassment, and violence.
While the law does not prohibit discrimination against LGBTI persons, the revised Malawi National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS (2020-25) has also included the transgender and the men who have sex with men community as part of the key populations to be targeted reach towards its goals.