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Country Overview

Democratic Republic of Congo

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?


Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016: Opposed IE SOGI

2019: Abstained from Voting IE SOGI

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Although same-sex relations are not criminalized in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are also no laws explicitly protecting LGBTIQ people. The age of consent is higher for same-sex relations than for different-sex relations. Anti-LGBTIQ sentiment is pervasive in the Democratic Republic of Congo. LGBTIQ people face social stigmatization, harassment, and discrimination at the hands of government officials and private citizens. There have been sporadic reports of police harassment and blackmail of LGBTIQ people. Due to these human rights violations, LGBTIQ people often remain in the closet. In this strongly conservative and religious country, LGBTIQ issues remain taboo which makes it difficult for LGBTIQ people to have their voices heard or human rights restored. Organizations working on LGBTIQ issues are recognized and able to register especially through their work on HIV concerns. However, there still exists a lack of social protection for LGBTIQ persons, activists and organizations, and widespread discrimination and harassment against LGBTIQ people.

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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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 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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