New online resource provides comprehensive map of LGBTQ+ rights worldwide

The ILGA World Database is an accessible and interactive platform that compiles laws and news related to LGBTQ+ folk across the globe.

Flags representing several countries worldwide outside UN building representing the new LGBTQ+ platform launch.
Image: Shutterstock

The ILGA World Database platform launches today, March 22. A first of its kind, the collaborative database compiles human rights laws and news related to LGBTQ+ people worldwide.

This free, interactive platform enables users from all over the world to track key data about the safety and legal protections related to sexual orientation and gender identity laws. Additionally, the database also includes interactive tools that let users interact with the information and apply advanced search functionality to sort and filter their research.



The data included represents 193 UN member States and 47 non-independent territories. Each location worldwide has a profile that includes laws, rights, advocacy opportunities and news related to LGBTQ+ folk, all available in an open-access, easily available format.

Some key data points sourced from the ILGA World Database include:

  • 49 UN member States have decriminalised consensual same-sex acts, but criminalising laws still exist in one-third of countries worldwide,
  • 20 allow legal gender recognition based on self-determination,
  • 11 ban so-called ‘conversion therapies’ at the national level,
  • 33 have legalised marriage equality,
  • 58 have laws that protect people from LGBTQ+ hate crimes, although only 37 do so based on gender identity, nine on gender expression and five on sex characteristics.

When describing the content, ILGA World Research Coordinator Lucas Ramón Mendos said, “Accessing data about LGBTI populations – historically left out, uncounted, and unrepresented – has always been difficult.

“Building upon four decades of experience that our organisation has in compiling this kind of information, ILGA World is now sharing it with everyone, giving free access to a platform that is grounded in data and research, and that systematises 4,300 legal sources and more than 7,000 references from United Nations mechanisms.”

The database is organised into six areas, including Legal Frameworks, International Human Rights Treaties, UN Treaty Bodies, UN Special Procedures, Universal Periodic Review, UN Voting Records and Statements.

The Legal Frameworks area includes laws and bills broken down into 18 categories. For example, a user can review all requirements for name and gender marker changes. Data about what conditions are required in each state is available, and all of this information is displayed on interactive maps and charts that can be sorted and filtered.

ILGA World Database graphic displaying a color-coded world map.

Data that would typically take months to compile is now available immediately through a quick search, and it can be filtered based on specific areas.

For example, this global database tracks laws and regulations restricting Intersex rights, and a quick search shows that only seven UN member states currently have nationwide restrictions in place to prevent unnecessary medical interventions on intersex minors.


This data provides evidence for where LGBTQ+ advocacy is lacking, and it can be used in powerful, policy-changing ways.

Luz Elena Aranda and Tuisina Ymania Brown, Co-Secretaries General at ILGA World, said, “With the ILGA World Database, our lived realities can be documented, programmes and services can be advocated for. The database brings to light valuable data that is missing in current LGBTI advocacy. Combining it with our stories and our activism is how we will make the world a better and more equal place for our LGBTI communities globally”.

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