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

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The Issue

LGBT & The Law

There are 72 jurisdictions around the world that still criminalise private, consensual sexual activity between adults of the same sex. Almost half of these are Commonwealth countries.

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  • 35 out of 54 Commonwealth jurisdictions (including the Cook Islands) criminalise consensual same-sex intimacy, with sentences ranging from two years in prison to the death penalty.
  • 15 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

A word from LGBT activists

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. The Trust has been instrumental in helping file a case on my behalf with the UN Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women. 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

Key Publications

Seychelles: Reform of discriminatory laws

Read our in-depth report into how Seychelles successfully reformed the law that criminalised LGBT people.

Legislating to Address Hate Crimes in the Commonwealth - Cover

Hate Crimes in the Commonwealth

Read our in-depth analysis of how hate crimes legislation can be used to protect LGBT people in the Commonwealth.

Keep in Touch

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