Sweden and Norway: National Strategies


In both Sweden and Norway, governments have committed to supporting LGBT rights in their national development strategies for several years. The progressive steps taken include action plans, setting goals for support of LGBT organisations and for efforts in international fora to combat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.




National LGBT Action Plan:

In a national action plan launched 2009, the government commits itself to a development policy conducive to combating all forms of decriminalization and stigmatization of persons on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (Ministry of Children and Equality: "Improving quality of life among lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transpersons (2009-2012)).

Four measures are set to be implemented from 2009-2012:


The action plan also states the Norwegian government's commitment to the Yogyakarta principles.

See more on goals for LGBT rights on page 44-45 in the Norwegian action plan


Embassy guidelines:

A set of brief guidelines adress how Norway's foreign stations can help secure the rights of LGBT people in countries where the issue is a sensitive one. The guidelines were developed in cooperation with the Norwegian embassies in Nicaragua, Nepal, Kenya and Uganda, and include the following recommendations:


See Norway's embassy guidelines

The guidelines are further elaborated in a document on how embassies can systematize and strengthen their work for LGBT human rights:

See the guidance here (only in Norwegian)

White paper on development policy:

In the white paper "Climate, Conflict and Capital - Norwegian development policy adapting to change (2008-2009)", a strong support of LGBT rights is also stated.

See page 17 in the white paper





Government development policy:

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA, in 2005 conducted a comprehensive study of Swedish policy and administration of LGBT issues in development cooperation work. Country studies were done in Moldavia, India and South Africa. The first of its kind in the world, the study has attracted much attention, and has served as the foundation for SIDA's work within the LGBT area since then.


The report includes recommendations on how work with LGBT people in development can be improved (starts from page 50):


See SIDA report ”Sexual orientation and gender identity issues in development”


The study was followed in 2006 by a concrete action plan for 2007-2009 for LGBT issues in development cooperation. The action plan identifies eleven activities to promote the enabling conditions necessary for Sweden to contribute to an improvement in living conditions and opportunities for LGBT persons through implementation of development cooperation measures, in analyses and in various forms of policy dialogue.


See Action plan for Sida’s work on sexual orientation and gender identity in international development cooperation 2007–2009



In cooperation with the National Swedish Federation for LGBT, RFSL, SIDA has published a thorough handbook on the issue:

LGBT in development - a handbook on LGBT perspectives in development cooperation


Also available in Swedish: HBT i utveckling - en handbok om hbt-perspektiv i utvecklingssamarbete