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For All: The Sustainable Development Goals & LGBTI+ People

Report Designer, 2021

Over the past 50 years, the situation for LGBTIQ people globally has improved in many regions and countries. Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is protected in the legislation of more and more countries; hate crime legislation has been added in some places, as well as samesex partnership and marriage. The trans movement has won legal battles and LGBTIQ people have been mobilised and the organisation has been strengthened. Issues linked to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are frequently discussed more openly.

At the same time, the situation is still very concerning in a large number of countries. Same-sex relationships are still criminalised in more than 70 countries and regions and in eight countries and regions, such relationships may even be punishable by death. People are met with discrimination and violence in all countries, and the gains that have been made are now threatened in many places.


Everyone working for sustainable development should consider whether their efforts maintain, or even reinforce, current normative notions of gender and sexual orientation. Likewise, everyone needs to ask themselves whether LGBTIQ people are included in those efforts. If you want to fight poverty and contribute to sustainable development, the long-term gains are greater if everyone is included – both for the individual and for society as a whole.

LGBTI+ Rights

Sustainable Development Goals


Report Design


This document has been drawn up by RFSL and edited by YAHA, is aimed at organisations and people working with international development cooperation or other global projects. It is based on RFSL’s experience from working for many years in Sweden and within international development cooperation for the rights of LGBTIQ people. We want to provide a better understanding of people’s challenges and their organisation globally. We are hoping that this book will be able to highlight how issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are linked to human rights and the global development goals.

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