At Outright International, our mission is to ensure human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere through advocacy, support and research.
Browse below to learn more about our work all over the globe
Outright supports LGBTIQ organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and works with mainstream human rights organizations to respect human rights and influence positive changes in laws, policies, attitudes, and beliefs that cause discrimination against LGBTIQ people on the continent.
Currently, Outright's flagship program in the continent centers on ending conversion practices. Since 2019, Outright has partnered with The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) in Nigeria, galck+ in Kenya, and Access Chapter 2 (AC2) in South Africa – to document widespread prevalence of conversion practices and their negative impact on LGBTQ people. The program works at all levels: grassroots, national, sub-region, and regional.
Human rights protections for LGBTIQ people have undergone fundamental and positive transformations across the Americas in recent years. We have witnessed the legalization of same-sex marriage in several countries in South America, the inclusion of sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected categories in some domestic anti-discrimination laws throughout the region, and repeal of colonial-era sodomy laws in the Caribbean. These hard-won advances have also produced a backlash and political pressures from anti-gender and anti-rights groups, contributing to violence and discrimination.
Our work in the Americas focuses primarily on the Caribbean, where activists are successfully dismantling discriminatory laws and policies. Since 2016, courts in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago have overturned colonial “buggery” laws, and civil society organizations and individuals have launched legal challenges to such laws in St. Vincent & Grenadines, Jamaica, Barbados, and Dominica, as well as at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Outright continues to support Caribbean civil society efforts to decriminalize same-sex relations and promote the development of legal gender recognition polices through advocacy at national, regional and international levels. Outright supported the registration and organizational development of the region's first transgender network. Outright also works with Caribbean activists to tackle gender-based violence, challenging deeply ingrained and outdated expectations of gender roles which lead to violence against those who do not fit the narrow parameters, and training service providers on LGBTIQ inclusive services.
In Asia, we work in partnership with local LGBTIQ groups to stop gender-based violence and discrimination against LGBTIQ people in general and against more marginalized groups within the broader LGBTIQ spectrum. We promote acceptance of LGBTIQ people in all their sexual and gender diversity.
Europe and Central Asia
Outright International partners with activists to fight for an end to human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Europe and Central Asia, where most of our work involves emergency responses to harassment, discrimination, violence and most recently, Russia’s brutal and expanded invasion of Ukraine.
Middle East and North Africa
Over the past few years, our work in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has focused on Iran and Iraq. We partner with local groups in various countries in the region as part of our international solidarity work. In several North African countries, we work with our local partners on different topics through capacity building, advocacy, research and holistic security.
Along with activists in the region, we work to raise attention to – and stop – human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Outright has an extensive Iran program to support the efforts of the Iranian LGBTIQ community and their allies. We have produced a diverse set of resources in Persian to combat homophobia in the media, and to offer legal and religious analyses and perspectives in support of tolerance, and to challenge cultural and social narratives that dehumanize individuals because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Outright also has close partnerships with LGBTIQ groups in Turkey, to support the ongoing struggle of the activists to gain equal rights and protection under the law.
Our work in the Pacific aims to increase visibility of activists, respond to human rights emergencies, and actively bridge local, regional and international activism to achieve equality and justice.
Outright is the only US-based LGBTIQ organization which has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The United Nations (UN) is the birthplace of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the organization from which fundamental international human rights law originates. The UN sets global human rights standards, and facilitates processes for ensuring they are upheld by Member States.
Outright engages in UN dialogues, debates, special sessions and annual events at the UN-NY Headquarters, including with the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. Outright works to ensure that UN institutions recognize, affirm and protect human rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and sex characteristics.
Our status as a United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) organization gives us year-round access to advocate for the human rights of LGBTIQ people directly with representatives of Member States and UN agencies at the UN Headquarters in New York. Outright brings LGBTIQ advocates and civil society leaders from around the world to engage with UN processes as briefers on country and regional discussions and as experts on thematic issues relating to sexual orientation, gender identity, physical characteristics and expression.
Outright is a co-founder and Secretariat of the UN LGBTI Core Group, an informal group of 43 Member States, the delegation of the EU, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and Outright International. Together, we collaborate to mainstream LGBTIQ human rights at the UN headquarters in New York.
Help us make an impact
Outright International works together for better LGBTIQ lives. We work with partners around the globe to strengthen the capacity of the LGBTIQ human rights movement, document and amplify human rights violations, and advocate for inclusion and equality.
Our research programs report on global threats and opportunities confronting our LGBTIQ communities. We share insights on urgent, relevant issues.