We use the law to defend the human rights of LGBT people globally

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The Issue

LGBT people & the law

There are 66 jurisdictions around the world that still criminalise private, same-sex, consensual sexual activity. Half of these are Commonwealth countries.

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  • 32 out of 56 Commonwealth jurisdictions criminalise consensual same-sex intimacy, with sentences ranging from two years in prison to the death penalty.
  • 9 jurisdictions worldwide maintain discriminatory age of consent laws between opposite-sex and same-sex acts.
  • In at least 26 countries, authorities use public order, vagrancy and misdemeanour offences to harass, arrest and prosecute transgender people. Blackmail, extortion, and physical and sexual violence is commonplace.
Read The Facts

Why our work matters

Sri Lanka

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Equal Ground

'In the past few years we’ve worked with the Human Dignity Trust which has been an amazing experience for me personally, as well as a huge boost to our LGBT activism in Sri Lanka. They’ve gone out of their way, and their expertise has been invaluable'


Njeri Gateru, National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

'Going to court meant finally being able to present our truths to a state body, to say this is who we are, but that doesn’t mean that you get to kill us, that because we love differently it doesn’t mean that you get to abuse us on a daily basis, or that lesbian women should get raped'


Caleb Orozco, United Belize Advocacy Movement

'The Human Dignity Trust has worked with us to push the boundaries of legal argument, and has allowed us to expand our expectations beyond belief and stretch the possibility of advancing the socio-economic and civil rights of LGBT people. To that end, the Trust has enabled our expectations and given life to what we desire most as people seeking a better quality of life'

Our Impact

Latest Updates

Support our work

Almost 70 countries have jurisdictions that criminalise LGBT people. Help us bring that number down.


Key Publications

Next Steps Towards Reform: Assessing good practice and gaps in Commonwealth sexual offences legislation

Our new series of reports examines the status of sexual offences legislation across the Commonwealth, assessing good practice and identifying where there are gaps in protection, with a particular focus on women, children, LGBT+ people and people with disability.

The cover of the report Defending Dignity

Defending Dignity: a decade championing the rights of LGBT people

Since 2011 the Human Dignity Trust has been a leading player in fighting for and securing the decriminalisation of LGBT people. This report celebrates our key achievements in the 10 years since the Trust was founded.

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