LGBT Rights and Inclusion in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

25th February 2021
Author: Idris Iffat

This review looks at the extent to which LGBT rights are provided for under law in a range of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and the record on implementation/enforcement, as well as approaches to promote LGBT rights and inclusion. SIDS covered are those in the Caribbean, Pacific, and Atlantic-Indian Ocean-South China Sea (AIS) regions. The review draws on a mixture of grey literature (largely from international development agencies/NGOs), academic literature, and media reports. While the information on the legal situation of LGBT people in SIDS was readily available, there was far less evidence on approaches/programmes to promote LGBT rights/inclusion in these countries. However, the review did find a number of reports with recommendations for international development cooperation generally on LGBT issues. Denial of LGBT rights and discrimination against LGBT people is found to varying extents in all parts of the world. It is important that LGBT people have protection in law, in particular the right to have same-sex sexual relations; protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation; and the right to gender identity/expression. Such rights are also provided for under international human rights conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while the Sustainable Development Goals are based on the principle of ‘leave no one behind’.

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Suggested Citation

Idris, I. (2021). LGBT rights and inclusion in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). K4D
Helpdesk Report 970. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. DOI:


25th February 2021


Continent: Asia, Australisia, South America