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In our database, you will find comprehensive reports on LGBT rights and issues worldwide, relevant resolutions, inspirational toolkits, guidelines from development agencies, and more.

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An Activist’s Guide to The Yogyakarta Principles (2010)

Activist_guide_to_Yogyakarta_Principles_-_coverAn introduction to the Yogyakarta Principles, this guide aims to encourage their use and their promotion. It is targeted primarily at activists working with LGBTI issues, but is also of interest to others engaged in the promotion of human rights: grassroots human rights defenders, national equality bodies, lawyers, NGOs, and others.

Structured in four sections, where especially the third section - a collection of case studies illustrating the impact of the Yogyakarta principles - is very interesting. Here you find examples on how to challenge oppressive legal standards, develop new government policy, seek a more responsive government, educate the public and build a movement. One example described is how human rights training for lesbians and transgender women in Lebanon helped them mobilize a strong movement.

See An Activist’s Guide to The Yogyakarta Principles



demanding credibilityDemanding Credibility and Sustaining Activism: A Guide to Sexuality-based Advocacy (2008)

This publication from Global Rights is a broad combination of strategies, stories and other resources related to LGBT rights. It provides detailed background guidance, practical information and educational tools to help activists around the world more consistently. Also the guide discusses how to incorporate sexual rights into advocacy efforts, design and deliver new programming around sexuality-related rights issues, explore new methods of engaging in human rights work, and strengthen alliances and coalition efforts. Chapters include useful resource lists of relevant reports and materials.

The guide offers inspirational examples of successful tools in local, national, and international efforts to address sexual rights. For example how a fact finding report from Bangalore in India has proven to be an extremely useful advocacy tool, helping to make issues of sexual orientation and gender identity more respectable.

Demanding Credibility and Sustaining Activism: A Guide to Sexuality-based Advocacy

EU guidelines

In 2013, the protection of LGBTI human rights became officially part of EU foreign policy, when the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union adopted Guidelines To Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons.

The Guidelines is a comprehensive legally binding document which will provide instructions to EU institutions and Member States on how to progress on human rights of LGBTI people in dealing with third countries and at international fora. They prioritise actions around combatting discriminatory laws and policies, LGBTI-phobic violence, and the promotion of equality and non-discrimination.

Download EU guidelines here

For more on how to improve the legislation for LGBT people, see the EU Handbook on the protection of LGBT people - good practices in helping victims

Another handbook: LGBT rights in Europe supported by EU, provides tools needed by legal practitioners for better understanding of the protection afforded by European and national law in cases of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In 2010 the Council of the European Union published a toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People. The toolkit aims to provide staff in the EU Headquarters, EU Member States’ capitals, EU Delegations, Representations and Embassies with an operational set of tools to be used in contacts with third countries, as well as with international and civil society organisations, in order to promote and protect the human rights enjoyed by LGBT people within its external action. It seeks to enable the EU to proactively react to cases of human rights violations of LGBT people and to structural causes behind these violations.

Priority areas of action included are:

  • decriminalisation
  • equality and non-discrimination
  • support and protection for human rights defenders

The toolkit lists the operational tools and actions which the headquarters and EU missions have at their disposal to protect LGBT rights. It also provides a useful listst of elements for analysis/checklist of situation regarding LGBT human rights issues (annex 2).

See toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People.


A recent 2016 survey by COC Netherlands and ILGA-Europe focuses on he EU LGBTI Guidelines, their implementation, and the experiences of LGBTI organisations across the world with the EU Delegations and National Embassies of EU Member States.  Results are combined with good practices and suggestions for improvement per priority area and tool: Report on the implementation of the EU LGBTI Guidelines

The Role of Embassies

An embassy can function as a platform for the support of local LGBT rights in a number of ways. Norway, United Kingdom and USA are among the states that actively guide their foreign representations in promoting equal rights and non-discrimination of LGBT people.



The Department of Foreign Affairs has distributed guidelines to all Norwegian embassies on how to support LGBT people and their rights. Pilot embassies for the guidelines were Nicaragua, Nepal, Kenya and Uganda, and they identified a number of good practices and important focus areas for embassies, including:

- discuss LGBT rights with local Humans Rights organisations and authorities

- map the local LGBT situation (legally, politicially, in media etc)

- know local LGBT organisations and assess the possibilities of supporting them

See Norwegian Embassy guidelines


United Kingdom

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued an ”LGBT Toolkit” to its 261 embassies, high commissions and other diplomatic posts. The purpose of the toolkit is to help adopt an official programme to support the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in other countries.

See UK Embassy toolkit



The Council for Global Equality has published the report ”Accessing U.S. Embassies: A Guide for LGBT Human Rights Defenders”: A manual for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists and NGOs in other countries to help them understand how U.S. embassies work; how to call on U.S. diplomats to support their human rights goals; how to access U.S. support, including both technical and financial support; and how to frame requests in ways that will appeal to strategic U.S. priorities.

The report also includes two case stories on how the US embassies have worked with promoting LGBT rights in Uganda and Honduras.

See  "Accessing U.S. Embassies: A Guide for LGBT Human Rights Defender"


Case: US Embassy in Bangladesh

To mark the Pride Month, the US Embassy in Dakar organized a film show followed by a discussion on June 26 2012 at the American Center. The event was organized by the Diversity Committee of the Embassy and moderated by the Human Rights Officer Joanna Schenke. The Embassy invited LGBT community members from various organizations and a few civil society members as well. The event began with a video of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's UN speech followed by a Mumbai Queer Film Festival award winning documentary.

A few journalists participated but no media coverage was carried out as the community decided not to. The community was involved throughout the whole process.

Within a Development Agency

For organisations working in international development, awareness of LGBT perspectives are not only relevant in cooperations with global partners. A lot can be done internally in the workplace.

Read more: Within a Development Agency

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