International work

What’s the situation for LGBT people worldwide?

There’s been great progress on LGBT rights over the past 25 years.

Since 1990, 40 countries have decriminalised homosexuality and over 30 have outlawed homophobic hate crimes. As of 2015, over 60 countries legally protect LGBT people at work and 15 recognise same-sex marriage.

Yet huge challenges remain. Sex with someone of the same sex is illegal in 73 countries, and punishable by death in 10. That means 40 per cent of the world’s population live in countries where gay, lesbian and bisexual people can be imprisoned, just for being themselves. Over 400 million people live under laws which punish same-sex sex with the death penalty.

Most governments deny trans people the right to legally change their name and gender. Of the LGBT people killed in the Americas in 2013-2014, 46% were Trans women.  Each year, one in twelve trans people in Europe experience a violent hate crime.

Around the world today, LGBT people are more likely to risk arrest, violence and discrimination for publicly speaking out against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, than they are to have their rights protected. We want to help turn this around and help create a world where LGBT people have the right to love, and the right to life.

Where we’re at

Download our report below to find out more about the work Stonewall has done since we launched our international programme in 2012.

What we do

  • Train LGBT human rights defenders to campaign for change in their countries.
  • Campaign to raise awareness in the UK about the situation for LGBT people around the world, and on how best to support them.
  • Advocate for the UK Government, the United Nations, the World Bank and other major institutions to consistently defend LGBT human rights worldwide.
  • We produce a range of useful Resources – from country briefings to advocacy guides to ‘Some People Are Gay…’ prints in 17 languages, and counting…
  • We work with the International Development sector to ensure LGBT people are not left behind when programmes are designed and delivered.

We know from our own experience that change works best when it’s led by people on the ground in different countries. That’s why we value partnerships with local organisations. They’re in the best position to explain what’s happening in their country, decide what should happen next, and drive change forward. Our work is about supporting and equipping them to make the changes they believe in, and helping get their voices heard

Further resources

You can find out more about our work and the situation for LGBT people in different countries on our resources page.

Some other useful resources include:

  • ILGA-Europe and ILGA-World provide comprehensive maps and reports on LGBT laws worldwide.
  • TGEU provides more detailed maps and reports on the legal situation for trans people around the world, including transphobic hate crimes.
  • The United Nation’s ‘Free & Equal Campaign’ is the first UN public campaign to address LGBT rights issues.
  • IGLHRC and Arc International are great places to go for information on advocating for LGBT human rights issues at the UN.
  • The Institute of Development Studies has this useful tool-kit on sexual rights and social justice around the world.
  • Funders for LGBTQ Issues is a good resource for international LGBT organisations seeking funding.