Global Advocacy

Filed under: International

LGBTQ people in many parts of the world face harassment, legal and societal discrimination, violence, and bigotry. Sixty-eight countries criminalize same-sex sexual activity. In up to ten countries, same-sex sexual relations may be punishable by death. So-called anti-LGBTQ “propaganda” laws inhibit LGBTQ advocacy in at least three countries. In countless more, such organizing and activity is constrained by restrictions on civil society. 

HRC Global advocates on behalf of LGBTQ people around the world to help advance and protect their human rights by working with the U.S. government and with international organizations to leverage their power and platforms. 

Read more about how HRC Global advocates to and works with particular institutions.

 

U.S. Administration:

 

The Trump-Pence Administration has remained shamefully silent on human rights abuses against LGBTQ people around the globe. HRC condemns these abuses and demands that the White House speak out and take action to stop these awful human rights violations. 

  • HRC has repeatedly called on the White House and the State Department to demand U.S. leaders condemn atrocities and human rights violations being committed. Learn more at our Sound the Alarm page.
  • HRC organized a visit with a survivor of the anti-LGBTQ crackdown in Chechnya to Washington to demand that the U.S. take action to stop the violence and open its doors to the victims. HRC also followed Trump to Helsinki, Finland in 2017 when he met Russian President Vladimir Putin and called on both leaders to condemn Chechnya’s human rights violations.
  • HRC has repeatedly called upon the administration to welcome LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. See more of our work on immigration here.
  • HRC called on the U.S. not to extend trade preferences for Tanzania until the Tanzanian government take concrete steps to improve the human rights situation for LGBTQ people and others.
  • HRC has condemned the State Department’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights, which aims to narrow the scope of human rights - to the likely detriment of LGBTQ human rights.

 

U.S.Congress: 

 

HRC Global works with Congress to advance LGBTQ human rights abroad when the Trump-Pence administration has remained silent. HRC Global works with Congress to speak out and condemn the violence through bipartisan resolutions, statements and actions. 

In the last three years, members of Congress have introduced bills that help protect LGBTQ people abroad. 

  • The Global Respect Act would put travel sanctions on foreign government officials who have violated the human rights of LGBTQ people. 
  • The International Human Rights Defense Act would make it U.S. policy to combat human rights violations targeting LGBTI people abroad and permanently create the position of Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons at the U.S. State Department. 
  • The GLOBE Act would advance the human rights of LGBTI persons by creating a working group within the U.S. government tasked with responding to attacks on LGBTQ people outside the U.S.; authorizing sanctions against those who commit anti-LGBTQ human rights violations abroad; and codifying a non-discrimination policy in all U.S. foreign assistance programs to ensure inclusion of LGBTQ people in all U.S. funded programs. 

 

HRC Global also works with Congress to speak out against specific atrocities, such as those in Chechnya.  

In addition, HRC Global actively engages Congress to oppose multiple anti-LGBTQ nominees for key positions in the administration, such as Mike Pompeo to serve as Secretary of State and Robert Destro to serve as Assistant Secretary for Democracy Human Rights and Labor.

 

International Organizations:

 

HRC engages with international organizations that are well-positioned to advance LGBTQ human rights. 

  • United Nations:
    • HRC joined with other advocates around the world on the global effort to create an Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity in the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2016. In 2019, we lobbied for its renewal.
    • HRC actively engages in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to hold the U.S. accountable for its commitments under international law to protect LGBTQ people from harm.
  • World Bank:
    • HRC advocated for the appointment of a sexual orientation and gender identity adviser, finally created in 2017.
    • HRC advocated for strong “safeguards” to ensure that LGBTQ people are not harmed by projects that the Bank is funding. 
    • HRC has brought advocates from around the world to advocate at the World Bank during their annual fall and spring meetings. 
  • Organization of American States (OAS):
    • HRC has cooperated with the LGBTI core group of the OAS on events and panels to help raise the visibility of LGBTI issues in the Western Hemisphere, including arranging meetings between activists from the region and key OAS officials.

 

International Coalitions: 

 

  • Global Equality Fund (GEF)
    • HRC Global is a member of the Global Equality Fund, a partnership of governments, private sector and NGO members committed to supporting the global LGBTI movement through funding and technical support. 
  • Equal Rights Coalition (ERC)
    • HRC Global participates in the Equal Rights Coalition, bringing its civil society advocacy voice to this global coalition of governments and NGOs committed to protecting the rights of global LGBTQI people.
  • Council for Global Equality
    • HRC Global is a member of the Council for Global Equality, a coalition of  U.S.-based organizations that encourage a clearer and stronger U.S. voice on human and democratic rights concerns impacting global LGBTQI communities.