State-Sponsored Homophobia report: latest edition

This 13th edition of the State-Sponsored Homophobia report was researched and written by Lucas Ramón Mendos and published by ILGA.

It is copyright-free, provided you cite both the author and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

Suggested citation: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association: Lucas Ramon Mendos, State-Sponsored Homophobia 2019 (Geneva; ILGA, March 2019).

The latest edition of ILGA’s State-Sponsored Homophobia report has been released on March 20, 2019. Its map on sexual orientation laws is available here

Download the 2019 ILGA State Sponsored Homophobia report
in English (desktop mobile) | Spanish translation available soon

Looking for the maps on sexual orientation laws in the world? Click here

ILGA Co-Secretaries General’ Foreword

As we celebrate ILGA’s 40th anniversary, we are proud to launch the latest edition of the State- Sponsored Homophobia report to continue providing updates of this unique advocacy tool to member organisations and allies.

In the last few years, each edition of this report has sought to improve the quality and the breadth of the data included and this new edition is definitely no exception. Each section of the report has grown considerably, both in scope and in depth, as has the number of contributors coming from all ILGA regions whose voice adds another dimension to this world-size compendium.

Besides the analysis of legislation in force around the world and the human rights situation in each criminalising UN Member State, since 2012 the report has featured essays written by scholars and activists on the socio-legal situation in different regions around the world (Global Perspectives). This year, more than 30 voices paint the bigger picture of the progress and challenges encountered in the last two years by our communities in all ILGA regions.

As more international courts, bodies and agencies are becoming involved in establishing human rights standards on issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), it is increasingly difficult to keep up with all of their decisions, cases, and materials. Additionally, the intricacies of legal terminology oftentimes become a barrier to many who are not familiar with the way in which these bodies write, interpret and present their arguments. Aware of these challenges, ILGA World has decided to incorporate a whole new section on International Human Rights Law, written in a more accessible language. This chapter will become an invaluable roadmap to all the legal developments taking place at the multiple fora in which SOGIESC issues are being discussed.

The volume of information in this report is also higher than the previous editions as it covers the developments in the last two years (2017 and 2018). The report has been published annually since 2006 and not publishing a 2018 edition has generated increased levels of expectation among activists, scholars and even State officials. We are aware that many have been waiting for this edition and we are confident that they will not be disappointed (and may even be compensated for the long wait).

We are also aware that this report has become a prominent source of credible information for courts of law, governmental agencies and other bodies at local, national and international levels. In 2018, the Supreme Court of India cited this report in its momentous decision that decriminalised consensual same-sex sexual acts and since the launch of the latest edition of the report in 2017, more than 4,500 media outlets have reported or cited it, as well as many hundreds of academic citations. Moreover, since 2015 the EU Asylum Support Office (EASO) includes State-Sponsored Homophobia and its maps among the key sources to conduct Country of Origin Information (COI) research to support asylum claims.

This level of reliance on our work comes with a great responsibility and leads us to put more efforts and resources into producing ever deeper and reliable data.

After reviewing this latest edition, it has become apparent that the report has grown out of its title, as it progressively leaves behind a focus exclusively centered around issues of homophobia and sexual orientation, and starts covering broader issues related to gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. In this regard, this edition could well be defined as a transitional one, reflective of ILGA Word’s ongoing discussions on how to rethink and streamline its research. These discussions are continuing as this edition is released to the public and is concomitant of the discussions on the organisation’s strategic plan for the next 5 years that will provide the framework for future research initiatives.

Our thanks go to all those who worked on this report, ILGA staff members and external contributors alike, and particularly to all ILGA members whose knowledge continues to sustain this report.

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