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Country Overview


At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?


Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?


Legal Gender Recognition Possible?


LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?


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In Samoa, the Crimes Act 2013 outlaws “sodomy” and bans anal and oral sex between all individuals, regardless of gender, though these laws are rarely enforced. At the same time, employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been banned since 2013. Additionally, Samoa prohibits health professionals from attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation. Despite these protections, LGBTIQ Samoans face discrimination, harassment, and social stigmatization. The Censorship Board has sporadically censored movies depicting LGBTIQ people or content. Samoans tend to be more accepting of people of diverse gender identities and expressions than sexualities, but stigma remains an issue across the board. Samoa has a traditional third gender called fa’afafine, who were assigned male at birth and adopt specific cultural roles in society. They often embody feminine traits, although the gender expression of fa’afafine varies. Some identify as women, while others do not. Fa’afatama is a more contemporary term for people who were assigned female at birth and may embody more masculine traits and/or identify as men. In 2011, Samoa joined over 80 countries in signing the United Nations’ "joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”


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.

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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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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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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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Our work in the Pacific aims to increase the 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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