Advancing LGBTI Inclusive Development

Violence, discrimination, stigma, and criminalization negatively impact the lives of millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people around the world and contribute to poverty.  LGBTI people face criminalization in over 70 countries – several of which can impose the death penalty – and anti-LGBTI violence can be life-threatening. Access to essential services such as education and health is often denied to LGBTI people.  

When working to address anti-LGBTI violence, discrimination, stigma, and criminalization, USAID abides by two foundational principles: “do no harm” and “do nothing about them without them.”  “Do no harm” means that we take measures to ensure that our efforts do not put LGBTI individuals or groups at increased risk of harm or raise their public profile in a way that could lead to backlash.  “Do nothing about them without them” means that we consult with LGBTI individuals and groups before and throughout any engagement designed to support them.  

Inclusion is one of USAID’s core values.  USAID promotes a nondiscriminatory and inclusive approach to development that ensures that all people – including those who face discrimination and thus may have limited access to a country’s benefits, legal protections, or social participation – are fully included and can participate in and benefit from development processes and activities.

To help operationalize this inclusive development approach USAID released the LGBT Vision for Action, a document that reflects USAID’s commitment to protect LGBTI people from violence, discrimination, stigma, and criminalization and advance their human rights; and Suggested Approaches for Integrating Inclusive Development Across the Program Cycle and in Mission Operations, a document that identifies ways to include marginalized and vulnerable groups in USAID’s work.

Resources and Links

Last updated: March 27, 2020

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