IE SOGI refers to the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Although same-sex relations are legal in Azerbaijan, LGBTIQ people have been the targets of concerted government efforts to detain, humiliate, and subject LGBTIQ people to invasive testing, purportedly as part of a government clamp-down on prostitution. Those detained also end up on a registry, making them vulnerable to forced outing and extortion by police officers. LGBTIQ-friendly venues are subject to random raids. Due to a lack of legal protections, discrimination against LGBTIQ people is common. Transgender and gender non-conforming people are particularly vulnerable to these abuses, as there are no legal gender recognition procedures. Azeri law imposes heavy fines on organizers and participants of unauthorized demonstrations, resulting in LGBTIQ groups’ inability to assemble or raise awareness of LGBTIQ issues. Many people view the LGBTIQ community as a threat to “traditional” Azeri culture and “family values,” which contributes to the negative public opinion of LGBTIQ people. LGBTIQ visibility remains low; though it has grown in the last decade.