• People around the world face violence and inequality – and sometimes torture, even execution – because of who they love, how they look, or who they are.

    Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of our selves and should never lead to discrimination or abuse.

    Human Rights Watch works for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people’s rights, with activists representing a multiplicity of identities and issues.

    We document and expose abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity worldwide – including torture, killing and executions, arrests under unjust laws, unequal treatment, censorship, medical abuses, discrimination in health and jobs and housing, domestic violence, abuses against children, and denial of family rights and recognition.

    We advocate for laws and policies that will protect everyone’s dignity. We work for a world where all people can enjoy their rights fully.

    Photo: © The Rainbow Project, Namibia 2001.

  • An asylum seeker from Uganda marches with the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force during the Gay Pride Parade in Boston, Massachusetts on June 8, 2013.
    Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s signing of the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law is a deeply worrying infringement on the human rights of all Ugandans. The law, signed by Museveni in Kampala on February 24, 2014, increases penalties for some forms of consensual same-sex conduct between adults; curtails constitutionally protected rights to privacy, family life, and equality; and violates internationally protected rights to freedom of association and expression.


LGBT Rights

  • Apr 24, 2014
  • Apr 22, 2014
    (Washington, DC) – The Louisiana state legislature should swiftly repeal its discriminatory “crime against nature” laws, which are used to harass lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 16, 2014, the Louisiana State House of Representatives voted 66 to 27 to reject House bill 12, which would have repealed the US state’s anti-sodomy law. The law was enacted in 1805.
  • Apr 15, 2014
  • Apr 6, 2014
    The Kyrgyz authorities should immediately halt the recent backsliding on human rights and take steps to protect freedom of speech, association, and assembly. On April 8, 2014, Kyrgyzstan’s human rights record will come under scrutiny during the annual EU-Kyrgyzstan human rights dialogue, as well as by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which will decide whether to grant Kyrgyzstan “partnership for democracy” status.
  • Apr 2, 2014
    Ahead of the 4th European Union (EU)-Africa Summit on April 2-3, 2014 in Brussels, African and European civil society call on you to ensure that human rights are put at the centre of discussions aimed at “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace”. Seven years after the adoption of an ambitious Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), the Summit provides an opportunity for both continents' leaders to show that real ambition means aiming at tangible human rights improvements and taking measurable steps to fulfill them.
  • Mar 31, 2014
    The European Union (EU)-Africa summit provides an important opportunity to highlight crucial human rights developments in both Africa and Europe. Progress is being made on many human rights issues in an array of countries, but daunting challenges remain. The summit agenda includes both democracy and governance and peace and security, two broad topics that include a range of human rights concerns.
  • Mar 27, 2014

    The sponsors of a discriminatory and stigmatizing draft bill to curtail lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights should withdraw it from Kyrgyzstan’s parliament, Human Rights Watch said today. 

  • Mar 13, 2014

    On March 7, Malaysia's opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was sentenced to five years in prison for sodomy. This is just the latest iteration in a long and unfortunate history of using sodomy laws against political rivals.

  • Mar 11, 2014
    A diverse group of Ugandan individuals and nongovernmental organizations filed a constitutional challenge to the Anti-Homosexuality Act on March 11, 2014. President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law on February 24.
  • Feb 26, 2014

    The governor of the US state of Arizona should veto a bill that would allow business services to be refused to same-sex couples and permit a “religious belief” defense in discrimination suits brought by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today.