At the core of our mission, we research, document, and expose human rights violations against LGBTIQ people across the world. We believe that generating evidence-based human rights research documentation is the most effective way to hold governments accountable for failing to meet human rights obligations and standards- before national, regional and international human rights monitoring bodies. We fill research gaps, provide trainings to community members and allies to develop their expertise, and convene key stakeholders to exchange information on best practices related to ending violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or sex characteristics. We vigilantly monitor and document the discriminatory and life-threatening conditions LGBTIQ people face in order to spur action to stop human rights violations when they occur. Over our 25-year history, we have partnered with activists to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports that expose discrimination and violence in both the public and private spheres across the Global South. We are known for our documentation training programs, covering a range of issue areas and skill sets, including how to research, report and monitor violations of human rights law. We bring observations from the diverse settings we monitor into the best-practices curricula we develop across regions.
From our earliest days, we successfully lobbied mainstream human rights organizations to focus on rights abuses against LGBTIQ people when developing their reporting agendas. As the first U.S.-based LGBTIQ organization to achieve consultative status at the United Nations, our reports are cited at the highest levels of authority at the UN and other key monitoring bodies. Each year, we produce a series of “shadow” reports that confront the official narrative composed by governments with the often-dark realities facing LGBTIQ individuals and communities. We then use these reports to advocate with our partners to encourage the UN Human Rights Commission to instruct governments to take corrective action, including decriminalizing sodomy.