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
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.
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.
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.