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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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Over the last decade, the state of LGBTIQ human rights in Nigeria has deteriorated. Same-sex relations are illegal throughout the country. Furthermore, twelve northern regions have adopted a form of Sharia Law that makes same-sex relations punishable by death and criminalizes gender expression which does not correspond with gender norms associated with the sex assigned at birth. In 2014, the "Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act” was signed into law. The Act criminalizes same-sex marriage and displays of affection between people of the same sex, imposing a 10-year prison sentence on anyone who “registers, operates, or participates in gay clubs, societies, and organizations.” It also prescribes a penalty for people who know or “abet” same-sex relationships, thus criminalizing the friends and families of LGBTIQ people. Following this law, LGBTIQ Nigerians have been subjected to arbitrary arrests, targeting and extortion by police and government officials. Harassment and violence at the hands of private individuals are also high. Government officials regularly make public comments denigrating LGBTIQ individuals, contributing to Nigeria's pervasively anti-LGBTIQ sentiment. Nigeria's UN representatives were among the most vocal opponents to establishing the mandate of Independent Experts on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Speaking on behalf of the Organizations of Islamic Cooperation, Nigeria asserted that sexual orientation and gender identity issues are Western concepts and would constitute an imposition on a large number of states.


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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