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Country Overview

Nigeria

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

No

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

No

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016: Opposed IE SOGI

2019: Opposed IE SOGI

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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 which 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, displays of affection between people of the same sex, and imposes 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. In the wake of 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 is also high. Government officials regularly make public comments denigrating LGBTIQ individuals, which contributes to the pervasively anti-LGBTIQ sentiment in Nigeria. Representatives of Nigeria at the UN were among the most vocal opponents to the establishment of the mandate of Independent Expert 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 a Western concept 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 on the continent.

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United Nations

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Asia

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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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