Equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons

Around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons face discrimination and violence. But everyone should have the right to be themselves. It doesn't matter who you are or whom you love. That is why the Netherlands promotes equal rights for LGBTI people worldwide. 

Improving the position of LGBTI people worldwide

Homosexuality is a criminal offence in over 70 countries around the world. In some countries it carries the death penalty. LGBTI persons are often afraid to report violence to the police. They are worried they will be identified as LGBTI.

The Netherlands is committed to:

  • abolishing the criminalisation of homosexuality;
  • fighting anti-LGBTI discrimination;
  • promoting the social acceptance of LGBTI persons.

Dutch efforts to promote equal rights for LGBTI persons worldwide

Internationally, the Netherlands promotes equal rights for LGBTI persons in various ways by:

  • working with other countries in the Equal Rights Coalition (an international coalition that promotes equal rights for LGBTI persons);
  • ensuring equal rights for LGBTI persons is a top priority at international organisations, including the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OCSE), the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU);
  • entering into strategic partnerships with organisations that support local LGBTI organisations;
  • maintaining contact with local LGBTI organisations through the embassy network and supporting them in various ways;
  • funding projects that promote equal rights for LGBTI persons through the Human Rights Fund. For an up-to-date overview of projects see the Human Rights Report which is submitted to parliament each year;
  • marking the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on 17 May each year. On that day many embassies draw attention to the importance of equal rights for LGBTI people.