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Country Overview

Iraq

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

No

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

No

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016: Opposed IE SOGI

2019: Opposed IE SOGI

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Discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are widespread in Iraq, with little space for public support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. Although same-sex relations were decriminalized in Iraq in 2003, public indecency laws have been used to target LGBTIQ people. ISIS and other, armed groups, including groups aligned to the Iraqi government, have targeted LGBTIQ people through killing campaigns. LGBTIQ people also regularly face violence and rejection from their families. Violations are often perpetrated with impunity, with no recourse available to survivors. As a result, LGBTQ people are forced to remain invisible or risk persecution in both public and private spheres. Women who are lesbian, bisexual, or queer are especially hidden, due to multiple intersecting factors that include patriarchal norms; prevalent gender-based violence and harmful practices, such as child marriage and honor killings; weak state institutions; and weak legal protections for women and girls, with no legal protections whatsoever to address abuses on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). Transgender women are at particular risk.

Global Impact

Sub-Saharan Africa

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.

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United Nations

Our work at the United Nations centers around advocating for the advancement of the rights of LGBTIQ people.

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Asia

Our work in Asia promotes acceptance of sexual and gender diversity at all levels of society.

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Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, we partner with local groups in various countries as part of our international solidarity work. We also work with our local partners on different topics through capacity building, advocacy, research and holistic security.



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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.

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Americas

Our work in the Americas continues to build on the fundamental and positive transformation of human rights protections in recent years. We partner with groups in the Caribbean that focus on ending gender-based violence and eradicating discrimination against trans people.

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Pacific

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.

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Human Rights Research

Since 1990, we have partnered with activists from all over the world to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports.

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