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Country Overview

Botswana

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

Yes

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

Yes

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

Yes

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

Yes

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016: Abstained from Voting IE SOGI

2019:

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In the last 10 years, Botswana has made significant progress towards LGBTIQ equality. Discrimination in employment including explicitly on grounds of sexual orientation was banned in 2010, making it one of the few African countries to have such protections for LGBTIQ people. In November 2014 the High Court ruled that the country’s Civil and National Registration department had to register the LGBTIQ organization 'Legabibo'. Two years later that judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeals. In 2017 the High Court recognized transgender people’s right to legally change their name, and in 2019 the same court overturned laws that criminalized same-sex relations. This progress has been met with mixed reactions by politicians, the media, and the general public. Historically, LGBTIQ identities have been taboo in Botswana and considered un-African and immoral; however, recently, LGBTIQ Botswanans have experienced more acceptance. Although discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been illegal since 2010, LGBTIQ identities are often seen as unacceptable and LGBTIQ Botswanans face harassment, violence, and discrimination.

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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