The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and IntersexAssociation is grateful for the work and support of its memberorganisations, staff, interns and board members. A heartfelt shoutout and thank you goes to all the LGBTI activists around the worldfor the time and energy they commit to advancing LGBTI equalityeverywhere.Last but not least, our thanks to the following organisations whoin particular have made our work financially possible:ILGA’s 2017 Annual Report was coordinated and edited byDaniele PalettaManaged byAndré du PlessisSpanish translation:Paul Caballero – ILGALACDesign and typesetting:Roberta Bruno – [email protected] annual report covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2017.2

“All persons have dignity and rights. We are allequal members of the human family. Let us enddiscrimination and violence in all forms.”Excerpt from our statementat the 36th UN Human RightsCouncil - General Debate onItem 4ph. J. Andrew Baker3

ear friends,we know all too well that our communities’ struggle to be recognised and accepted has never come without challenges. As if weneeded more proof, 2017 served us constant, sobering reminders ofthe hurdles that we yet have to overcome. For every hard-won battle,we had to experience the bitter fruits of a rising politics of hate, withthe fingers of ruthless scaremongers pointed at our bodies and/oridentities in an irresponsible hope to gain social and political consensus.And yet, resilient as our communities are, we refused to give into hatred and intolerance. We continued to push for change and demand our rights be recognised and respected. We stood together. Werejoiced whenever the advances that we had long fought for becamea reality. And we hearteningly saw millions of other people joiningus in defending the rights of all targeted groups in the face of a scary,populist wave of hate.Women marched all around the world to demand equal rights.People called out the most egregious persecutions against our communities – such as the ones happening in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, andEgypt, just to name a few. Indifference was not the only response wesaw to injustices perpetrated against LGBTI human rights defenders,LBQ women, trans people, intersex people, migrants, people of colour, ethnic communities, people with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and more minorities: slowly, yet irreversibly, people are refusingto be silent.Hopelessness is something that we cannot afford, and we mustremind ourselves that we are not alone whenever the burden seemstoo hard to carry. We are in this together, and ILGA is proud tohave been by your side through all of these times filled with bothchallenges and hope. We are more determined than ever to supportLGBTI communities and movements through our worldwide structure, advocacy and resources for activism, and our family continuesto grow in numbers, capacity and strength.ILGA is built on the energy and resourcefulness of its globalmembership, whose passionate and tireless work continues to pushfor social, political and economic change and justice. It has alwaysbeen like this, and now we are getting ready to celebrate 40 years ofprofound impact on the many LGBTI lives around the world.This is a perfect time to look back at what we have achieved andlook forward to continue growing in our capacity to represent ourglobal movements. Our strength lies in our commitment to makingsure that all of our voices are heard, because the only way forward iswith one voice towards social justice for all.DIn solidarity,Ruth BaldacchinoHelen KennedyCo-Secretaries General4

n 2017, our membership continued to grow: more than 1,300 organisations worldwide now form the ever-diverse ILGA mosaic,and our offices in Bangkok, Brussels, Buenos Aires and Johannesburg continue to serve as regional hubs for defenders working on theground.Meanwhile, in its Geneva headquarters, ILGA continued increasing capacity to assist LGBTI communities at the local level using theinternational framework.Throughout 2017, we trained more than 300 human rights defenders on issues as diverse as their digital security, advocacy skillsand international human rights law.We released seven reports, surveys or toolkits, and made themmore easily accessible thanks to a fully-renewed website. Picked upby media outlets worldwide, and widely shared among activists andpartners, these publications have proved to be essential tools in thehands of human rights defenders, as well as a powerful resource tohelp millions of general readers know our communities better.Meanwhile, we kept raising our movements’ voices at the United Nations, and we honoured High Commissioner for Human RightsZeid Ra’ad Al Hussein with the ‘LGBTI Friend of the Year’ awardduring our first-ever World Gala, thanking him for his efforts in addressing issues affecting our communities on the global stage.As our activities kept growing, so did our team. In 2017, we welcomed J. Andrew Baker as Senior Development Officer, while CallumBirch and Lara Goodwin joined as interns to assist our UN work.We also said an important goodbye, as Renato Sabbadini left ILGAto commence the next chapter of his career. Under his leadership inover four years as Executive Director, he has been fundamental inhaving ILGA grow stronger in its structures and capacity, especiallyafter our arrival in Geneva. We sincerely want to thank him for hiswork: he leaves ILGA in a very strong position for future growth.And the future looks indeed exciting: the celebrations for our40th anniversary will soon begin, culminating in March 2019 at thefirst ILGA World Conference to ever be hosted in Oceania. That willalso be where our new strategic plan will be adopted. We are invitingILGA members and partners during 2018 to have a say in this: youcan help us shape our future direction, and serve our communitieseven better, especially those most underrepresented.Your voice matters!IAndré du PlessisExecutive Director ** as of 28 March 20185

A YEAR INADVANCINGEQUALITYWORLDWIDEWe join the first-ever public consultation convened by the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discriminationbased on sexual orientation and gender identity, and reiterate our commitment to supportthis ground-breaking mandate.During the first ILGA board meetingof the year, our representatives meetCanadian PM’s Special Advisor onLGBTQ2S issues, urging Canada to takea more prominent role in advancingLGBTI rights globally.MARCHWe release the 12th edition of ourState-Sponsored Homophobia report,as the world lights up in rainbow colours to mark the International Dayagainst Homophobia, Transphobia andBiphobia. Miami, USA hosts our NorthAmerica regional conference.MAYJANUARY20176FEBRUARYJUNEThe first Human Rights Councilsession of the year begins. Weraised LGBTI voices from acrossthe world on this important international stage throughout2017, with 29 statements andthree co-organised side events.We hold our first ILGA World Gala, whereUN High Commissioner for Human RightsZeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is honoured withthe ‘LGBTI Friend of the Year’ award.ILGA is also among the organisers ofthe first-ever UN Trans Advocacy Week,gathering together sixteen trans andgender-diverse activists from fifteencountries across the world.APRILWe support the largest intersex humanrights forum to date, as activists gathertogether in Amsterdam, The Netherlandsto take part in the Fourth InternationalIntersex Forum.

Organisations working with sexual andgender minorities from across Asia participate in our training on digital security, supported by co-organises civil society consultations on the UNDP-led LGBTI InclusionIndex: we are bridging data gaps, so thatno one is left behind!SEPTEMBERJULYTime to meet again and discuss thefuture of our movement! Hundreds ofLGBTI human rights defenders gathertogether in Warsaw, Poland and Guatemala City for the ILGA-Europe andILGALAC regional conferences.We release our annual report on UNTreaty Bodies SOGIESC references, anda toolkit dedicated to activists workingon SOGIESC issues at the UN’s UniversalPeriodic Review.NOVEMBER DECEMBERAUGUSTOCTOBERWe celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first ‘out’ LGBTI activiststatement in a UN human rightsbody, delivered on behalf of ILGAand Human Rights Advocates. Fromthat moment, together, we havecome a long way!After reaching more than116,000 online individuals in77 countries, we release a newround of results of the largestinvestigation ever conductedof public attitudes towards ourcommunities.Phnom Penh, Cambodia hosts the ILGAAsia regional conference, attended bymore than 300 human rights defenders. The second edition of our TransLegal Mapping Report is launchedduring the event, reviewing the situation for legal gender recognition in 111countries and 13 territories worldwide.7


Sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics are increasingly on the radar of international human rights bodies,thanks to the unstoppable work of hundreds of grassroots activists who keepdemanding that our rights be recognised and respected.We at ILGA are a proud part of all this. Throughout the year, we continued mobilising support for SOGIESC issues globally, and assisted dozens ofactivists as they raised their voice in the United Nations, in a constant pushfor change.“Even as we do not choose to get drawn intogeopolitics, we are resilient and engage in thesediscussions because we are, quite literally,fighting for our lives and our dignity.”Excerpt from our statementat the public consultation withthe UN Independent Expert onSOGI, January 2017During the year, ILGA kept providing input and guidance on the workof many Special Procedures, bringing gender identity and expression to theforefront and raising awareness about the lived realities of our communities.Following up on ten different regional and identity consultationmeetings at our 2016 World Conference, we continued to engage with theIndependent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity during the80Activists trained onSpecial Proceduresfirst year of the mandate.We kept the global LGBTI civil society informed about the work of Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, arranged meetings with human rights defendersalongside his first public consultation in Geneva, and partnered with transorganisations worldwide to make sure that specific concerns regarding gender identity and expression would be addressed properly.With deep gratitude we bid Professor Muntarbhorn goodbye as he30Trans specificrecommendations/concludingobservations made at the UNmoved on, and guided civil society through the process for the appointmentof his successor, Victor Madrigal-Borloz.In June, we co-organised the first-ever advocacy week on trans-specificissues at the UN Human Rights Council, joined by sixteen trans and gender-diverse activists from across the globe. During the week, a joint submission on language related to gender identity and expression was made to the29Statements delivered at theHuman Rights CouncilUN Independent Expert on SOGI.9

“Trans activists and trans issues have neverbeen so visible at the Human Rights Counciland UN spaces at large. This has been a trulyhistoric week and a start of a larger and sustainedMicah Grzywnowicz,engagement with the UN.”International AdvocacyAdvisor at RFSLAnd this is just an example of the work that we conducted to build capacities of activists engaging with the United Nations.256ILGA also welcomed dozens of human rights defenders for three advocacy weeks around the Universal Periodic Review, facilitating access to the32 diplomatic missions that our United Nations programme worked with in2017.We had more attendees at advocacy weeks and trainings than everSOGIESC UPRrecommendationsmade by States in 2017before: this resulted not only in many SOGIESC recommendations, butparticularly in recommendations that reflected the language that the defenders were hoping to see used.INTERNATIONALHUMAN RIGHTSADVOCACY The harmful practice of using forced analexaminations to ‘prove’ same-sex sexualconduct was addressed during a UPR WorkingGroup session for the first time in May 2017.A few weeks earlier, ILGA and COC Nederlandorganised a week of advocacy aroundthe Universal Periodic Review for elevenhuman rights defenders from across theworld. Two were from Tunisia, seeking to getrecommendations made to their country,including to ban forced anal examinations.At the 27th UPR Working Group session,Tunisia received a lot of attention on theissue, including five recommendations, and itformally accepted one to “immediately ceasethe practice of forced anal examinations ofLGBTI persons.”We are in contact with groups in Tunisia tonow use that public willingness to actuallyend the practice.10

“Participating and engaging with the UN TreatyBody was capacitating. It enabled [us] to use aninternational mechanism to advance LGBT rightslocally, and it enabled young leaders to emergefrom the process.”Jürgen Lasavanne, Young QueerAlliance, MauritiusThroughout the year, ILGA also assisted 45 LGBTI organisations as they35engaged with nine different Treaty Bodies, supporting them at all stages, including when they came to Geneva to conduct advocacy.Assisting human rights defenders as they follow-up on work in Genevais a crucial part of the process. Our publications increasingly highlight waysthat these international processes can be used to help change the reality onTreaty Bodies concluding observations featuring language providedby human rights defendersthe ground. LEADS TOCHANGE ON THEGROUNDThis year, a trans human rights defender fromRussia came to Geneva with the support ofILGA, and engaged with the Committee onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)to raise awareness of the challenges faced bytrans persons in Russia.Her important advocacy work on behalfof the Transgender Legal Defense Projectcont