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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?


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Although same-sex relations are not criminalized in the Republic of Congo, there are also no laws explicitly protecting LGBTIQ people. The age of consent is higher for same-sex relations than for the opposite sex. The anti-LGBTIQ sentiment is pervasive in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Article 176 of the country’s penal code, which criminalizes activities deemed as an offense to public decency, has been employed to foster social stigmatization, harassment and discrimination 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, making it difficult for LGBTIQ people to have their voices heard or human rights restored. Organizations working on LGBTIQ issues are recognized and can register primarily through their work on HIV concerns. However, a lack of social protection for LGBTIQ persons, activists and organizations still exists, and widespread discrimination and harassment still occur 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.

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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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