Our Mission

OutRight Action International, founded in 1990, is a leading international human rights organization dedicated to improving the lives of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We are dedicated to strengthening the capacity of the LGBTIQ human rights movement worldwide to effectively conduct documentation of LGBTIQ human rights violations and by engaging in human rights advocacy with partners around the globe. We work with the United Nations, regional human rights monitoring bodies and civil society partners. OutRight Action International formerly known as The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission holds consultative status at the United Nations as a recognized Non-Governmental Organization representing the concerns and human rights of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people worldwide.

Background / Our Story

OutRight Action International was founded in 1990 to eradicate the persecution, inequality and violence lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people face around the world. 

In 68 countries same-sex relations between consenting adults are criminalized, with penalties ranging from corporal punishment, to jail terms, to life imprisonment and even the death penalty. In the majority of the world LGBTIQ people face widespread discrimination in laws, employment, housing and healthcare. Discriminatory laws are found in both explicit terms, and in vague language related to morality, the policing of gender, and offenses against the so-called ‘order of nature.’ LGBTIQ people are subject to arrest, blackmail, and harassment on frivolous charges such as ‘loitering,’ ‘vagabondry,’ and ‘cross-dressing.’ Violence against those who are gender non-conforming are particularly frequent and widespread.

For 30 years, we have fought and will continue to fight to protect and advance the basic rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere as part of the global human rights movement. OutRight advances human rights and opportunities for LGBTIQ people around the world by developing partnerships at global, regional and national levels to build capacity, document human rights violations, advocate for inclusion and equality, and hold leaders accountable for protecting the rights and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people everywhere. We empower people on the front lines, hold leaders accountable at the United Nations and regional human rights monitoring bodies and measure our impact through positive change in people’s lives.

When we began the fight for human dignity for LGBTIQ people, the cause did not have the visibility it has today. Nor had our community taken the strides toward equality and recognition we are seeing in many countries. But progress is uneven and this reality forms the core of our struggle. We strive for a world in which LGBTIQ individuals can live with dignity, and reach their full potential, wherever they are.