Donor Support for the Human Rights of LGBT+

14th June 2021
Author: Laura Bolton

This rapid review synthesises evidence on the bilateral and multilateral donors promoting and protecting the human rights of LGBT+ people on a global scale. It focusses on those donors that have policies, implementation plans and programmes on LGBT+ rights. This review also examines the evidence on the impact of their work. The bilateral donors providing the most support for LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, +) communities in 2017-18 are the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), The Netherlands Development Cooperation, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), and the European Commission (EC). Whilst the multilateral donors providing the most support for LGBT+ are the UN and World Bank. The United Nations (UN) is doing a huge amount of work on LGBT+ rights across the organisation which there was not scope to fully explore in this report. The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNOCHR) in particular is doing a lot on this theme. They publish legal obligation information, call attention to rights abuses through general assembly resolutions. The dialogue with governments, monitor violations and support human rights treaties bodies. The work of the World Bank in this area focuses on inclusion rather than rights. A small number of projects were identified which receive funding from bilateral and multilateral donors. These were AMSHeR, International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), and Stonewall. This rapid review focused on identifying donor support for LGBT+ rights, therefore, searches were limited to general databases and donor websites, utilising non-academic and donor literature. Much of the information comes directly from websites and these are footnoted throughout the report. Little was identified in the way of impact evaluation within the scope of this report. The majority of projects found through searches were non-governmental and so not the focus of this report.

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Suggested Citation

Bolton, L. (2021). Donor support for the human rights of LGBT+. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. DOI: 10.19088/K4D.2021.100


14th June 2021


Continent: Global