Can aid donors Can aid donors help support LGBT rights in developing countries?

Last week I was invited to attend a half day international conference at the Overseas Development Institute convened by ODI and the Kaleidoscope Trust.  The Agenda was very engaging.

A brief summary of some of what I learned
Homophobia is a trojan horse being used to criminalise advocacy and freedom of association and is encouraging its citizens to spy on each other and report people to the authorities.

American evangelical organisations have been having a powerful influence on the political situation in developing countries. Whilst I was already aware of this, the extent of imposing their values and manipulating populations of African countries in particular was shocking.

Imposing conditions on Aid to try to pressure repressive governments to change their policies doesn’t work and isn’t effective. It’s only a simplistic sop to home voters.

It’s important to fund grassroots organisations (rather than the star leaders) and let these organisations decide how best to use the finance for their own local needs and campaigns.

Collaborate between the various interested parties, don’t privilege just LGBT rights, the governments who repress us also have agendas to oppress and repress other groups, especially women’s rights, sexual health, reproductive rights.

Longer term funding is virtually absent and therefore planning is very challenging. 0.01% aid money goes to LGBT rights

Organisations like the World Bank and USAID have been very active in supporting development of LGBT Rights and have various policy documents.  The Norwegian government is an exemplar in making donations to support LGBT rights issues and has a lot of experience in this area.

If you’d like to watch the video of the conference click the video link at the head of this blog

The Pink News covered the conference

Do check out the LGBT Rights campaigns at USAID 

Learn more about the Economic Cost of Homophobia from the World Bank conference earlier this year.

This is an enormously important subject, there is a great deal of work going on – but not enough.  If you’re interested in international LGBT rights, then please get involved and check things out.  The Kaleidoscope Trust seems to be the Stonewall for the Developing World!

Pink Therapy is an organisational member of ILGA who produced this report on State Sponsored Homophobia earlier this year.

Dominic Davies