Our Model For LGBTIQ Human Rights Change

OutRight works at the international, regional and national levels to research, document, defend, and advance human rights for LGBTIQ people around the world. We partner directly with human rights defenders, allies and organizations to produce reliable data on the experiences of LGBTIQ people around the world and support research-based advocacy and capacity-building for LGBTIQ rights.

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OutRight’s work operates on a continuum. We work to advocate for and influence change at all levels of power—national, bilateral, sub-regional, regional, and global. We call this interlocking spectrum of power the ladder of influence. To make our communities stronger, we want LGBTIQ rights to be integrated at every level of this ladder. OutRight’s value is in our ability to connect our partners to these different levels of power to push an agenda for change.

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.


Watch videos about our work:

What OutRight Does At The United Nations
What OutRight Is Fighting For


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 is 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.