The Human Dignity Trust produces in depth original research and legal analyses that support our litigation efforts and that helps to build the intellectual case for the removal of laws that criminalise people on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Breaking the Silence: Criminalisation of Lesbians and Bisexual Women and its Impacts 

Our report Breaking the Silence: Criminalisation of Lesbians and Bisexual Women and its Impacts shows that is illegal to be a lesbian in almost a quarter of all the countries in the world. This is the first ever global in-depth analysis of how laws against homosexuality specifically impact lesbians and bisexual women.

The report reveales thta as of May 2016, laws that criminalise homosexuality exist in 76 jurisdictions worldwide, or 40 per cent of all countries, including 80 per cent of Commonwealth countries. Of these, at least 44 jurisdictions criminalise consensual same-sex intimacy between women. Despite a general global trend towards decriminalisation, at least 10 jurisdictions that previously only criminalised gay men have recently added new criminal sanctions against lesbians.

Criminalising Homosexuality: Irreconcilable with Good Governance 

The Human Dignity Trust has produced a series of ground-breaking notes explaining how criminalisation interacts with various key areas of democratic values, good governance and well-being.

These notes highlight how crucial decriminalisation is for states to prosper and uphold their core democratic principles. They demonstrate the variety of lenses through which criminalisation's damaging effects can be seen, from exacerbating HIV to harming businesses to undermining the rule of law.

As of November 2015, same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults in private continues to be criminalised in 75 jurisdictions around the world. In most of these jurisdictions, the prescribed maximum punishment is a lengthy prison sentence. 

Criminalisation in the Commonwealth 2015 report 

Ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2015 in Malta, the Human Dignity Trust, in association with the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, has prepared an expansive report on the extent and the pernicious consequences of the criminalisation of homosexuality within the Commonwealth. This report is unparalleled in both the scope and depth of information it provides about the 40 Commonwealth countries which continue to criminalise LGBT people in 2015.


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