LGBTI Concerns and International Psychology
The International Psychology Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Issues (IPsyNet) was formed in 2005 and is composed of national, multinational and international psychological associations. The IPsyNet brochure (PDF, 183KB) provides information about the network's mission, vision and main goals, as well as information about membership and public listserv.
In the News
Call for Papers: Psychology of Sexualities Review — Special Issue on LGBTI Psychology: International Perspectives (PDF, KB)
Deadline: March 30, 2015
Psychology in action: My country, my closet: The role of psychology in the growing international divide over GLBTQ rights
Sharon D. Horne, PhD, discusses the relevance of psychological science to GLBTQ issues during pride month.
Psychology International, June 2014
Filipino psychologists organize first LGBT professional group in SEAsia, launch new studies
Aside from launching the Psychological Association of the Philippines' (PAP) LGBT Psychology Special Interest Group, the first organized collective of mental health professionals dedicated to LGBT rights and well-being in the Philippines and in the Southeast Asian region, PAP also celebrated another first for LGBT psychology in Asia: a special all-LGBT issue of its peer-reviewed research journal, the Philippine Journal of Psychology.
Outrage, April 8, 2014
Fighting Discrimination Worldwide: APA's commitment to applying social science to protect and expand the rights of LGBT people is paying off.
Monitor on Psychology®, October 2013
Are LGBT rights human rights? Recent developments at the United Nations
Psychology International, June 2012
International Council for Science (ICSU)
Universality of Science statement includes gender identity and sexual orientation.
International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS)
Policy on Free Circulation of Scientists including non-discrimination based on sexual orientation July 2010
National and Regional Policy
Quebec, Canada: Position on sexual orientation change efforts, Les interventions qui visent à changer l'orientation sexuelle, by l'Ordre des psychologues du Québec. (PDF, 528KB). Nov. 23, 2012
Costa Rica: Position statement on sexual orientation change efforts, La homosexualidad no es una enfermedad, by the Colegio Profesional de Psicólogos de Costa Rica. Feb. 25, 2013
Hong Kong SAR: Position Paper for Psychologists Working with Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexual (LGB) Individuals (PDF, 124KB); Background Paper (PDF, 354KB). August 2012
Position Statement of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists on Sexual Orientation (PDF, 185KB). Nov. 15, 2011
Philippines: Statement of the Psychological Association of the Philippines on Non-Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression. Oct. 8, 2011;
Statement of the National Association for Filipino Psychology (Pambansang Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino) on Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression in Tagalog.
March 22, 2013
South Africa: Sexual and Gender Diversity Position Statement: Introduction, Rationale and Context (PDF, 5.4MB)
Psychological Society of South Africa.
United Kingdom: The British Psychological Society, Position Statement: Therapies Attempting to Change Sexual Orientation, (PDF, 113KB). December 2012
United States: APA policy statements related to LGBT concerns
World Health Organization: "Cures" For An Illness That Does Not Exist,
The Pan American Health Organization's statement denouncing sexual orientation change efforts.
May 17, 2012
APA letter to the World Health Organization (PDF, 52KB) with recommendations regarding gender incongruence and sexual orientation for the International Classification of Diseases-11.
Letter from national and international psychological organizations urges the president of Uganda not to sign the "Anti-Homosexuality Bill."
Members of the International Psychology Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Issues and two international psychological organizations provide scientific information about homosexuality and encourage the president to reject the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, thereby affirming Uganda's commitment to human rights.
Expanded Criminalization of Homosexuality in Uganda: A flawed Narrative - Empirical evidence and strategic alternatives from an African perspective
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)
This report explores the various attempts to rationalize expanded criminalization of homosexuality under the Anti-Homosexuality bill passed by the Ugandan Parliament on Jan. 14, 2014, and draws upon documents from a number of psychological organizations around the world to address the question, "Is homosexuality mutable and a mental disorder?"
Comité de Asuntos de la Comunidad LGBT
Asociación de Psicología de Puerto Rico
El Comité Permanente de Asuntos de la Comunidad de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales y Transgéneros (LGBT) tiene como tarea y misión servir como grupo asesor de la presidencia de la Asociación de Psicología de Puerto Rico (APPR) en lo concerniente al trabajo de la APPR sobre lesbianas, gays, bisexuales y transgéneros.
The Psychological Association of the Philippines takes first ever step advocating for non-discrimination policy:
Letter to the Cebu City Council (PDF, 370KB), Aug. 7, 2012
Queenly move: Cebu City acts for non-discrimination outrage, Oct. 22, 2012
- Editorial: Homosexuality and India (PDF, 427KB)
Indian Journal of Psychiatry, January-March 2012
Associación de Psicología de Puerto Rico denuncia la discriminación sobre el matrimonio
Resolución: Para Rechazar la Discriminación Sobre el Matrimonio del Mismo Sexo y Recomendar que el Gobierno de Puerto Rico lo Reconozca. (The Puerto Rico Psychological Association denounces discrimination on marriage Resolution: To Reject Discrimination Against Same-Sex Marriage and Recommend that the Government of Puerto Rico Recognize it) Nov. 11, 2011
Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) Opposes Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill
PsySSA issues statement (PDF, 107KB) calling for Uganda to abandon "Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009"; Invites mental health professionals around the world to endorse.
- The Colombian Society of Psychology endorses statement by the Psychological Society of South Africa opposing the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill
- The Council of the European Union issued a global LGBTI policy, "Guidelines to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons" (PDF, 209KB) in June 2013, which updates its "non-binding toolkit to promote LGBT people's human rights" issued in June 2010.
EU foreign affairs ministers adopt ground-breaking global LGBTI policy
June 24, 2013
Today the EU's 27 foreign affairs ministers adopted a ground-breaking global policy. The LGBTI guidelines instruct EU diplomats around the globe to defend the human rights of LGBTI people.
Ecuador to crack down on clinics that 'cure' gays
Jan. 27, 2012
- White House issues Presidential Memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies: International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons; watch Secretary Clinton's International Human Rights Day speech to the U.N. on LGBT rights. View the Transcript. Dec. 6, 2011
Since 2003, ARC International has been advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. ARC plays a unique role in facilitating strategic planning around LGBT issues internationally, strengthening global networks, and enhancing access to UN mechanisms. It is the only organization with a full-time presence in Geneva committed to advancing LGBT issues within the UN human rights system.
The Council for Global Equality
The Council for Global Equality brings together international human rights activists, foreign policy experts, LGBT leaders, philanthropists and corporate officials to encourage a clearer and stronger American voice on human rights concerns impacting LGBT communities around the world. Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity References in U.S. Department of State Human Rights Report for 2011 (Released May, 2012).
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)
The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policy makers, opinion leaders, social movements, public opinion, the media, etc. to homophobia and transphobia, and to promote a world of tolerance, respect and freedom regardless of people's sexual orientation or gender identity. May 17 was chosen to commemorate the decision taken by the World Health Organization in 1990 to take homosexuality out of the list of mental disorders. As much as it is a day against violence and oppression, it is a day for freedom, diversity and acceptance.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is a leading international organization dedicated to human rights advocacy on behalf of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
- The Courage Unfolds Campaign and video highlight the issues faced
by LGBT people in Asia and encourage the use of the Yogyakarta
Principles as a tool to promote LGBT human rights.
The International Lesbian & Gay Association (ILGA)
The International Lesbian & Gay Association's aim is to work for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and their liberation from all forms of discrimination. ILGA is comprised of 690 member groups from 110 countries. The ILGA homepage has an interactive map that allows visitors to research the status of laws globally, both favorable and unfavorable, that affect LGBT people.
Research Institute Without Walls
The Research Institute Without Walls (RIWW) was founded to facilitate international and collaborative LGBT research. RIWW's community-based and multicenter research brings together researchers, activists, and providers who are interested in documenting the human rights, mental health needs, and resilience of LGBT persons around the world. Their goal is to bring together LGBT mental health professionals and human rights advocates and researchers.
Opportunities for Students and Psychologists
Human Rights Education Associates
Human Rights Education Associates is an international non-governmental organization registered as a charity in the Netherlands, and as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit in the United States. It has consultative status with the United Nations.
Sexual Orientation and Human Rights
A summary overview of the human rights at stake related to sexual orientation, a review of instruments for protection, and advocacy and educational materials.
When LGBT People Face Forced Migration or Torture, What is the Role of Psychology?
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their human rights concerns have become increasingly visible around the world. As awareness grows, and as more people come out by choice or are outed by others, reactions to these populations play out in ways both favorable and appalling. In response to the human impact of all of this there is a growing literature on how to work with and protect the individuals affected. There is also increasing attention to training for graduate students, forensic psychologists and other scientists, and clinicians, on working with displaced, escaping or physically and psychologically victimized LGBT people.
Systems and Documents
UNHRC Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
On Sept. 26, 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity with 25 voting in favor, 14 against and seven abstentions. The resolution expresses grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, and requested the High Commissioner to update the report entitled "Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence Against Individuals Based on Their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" with a view to sharing good practices and ways to overcome violence and discrimination.
Discussion Paper on Transgender Health & Human Rights
This paper aims to inform United Nations Development Programme's work on transgender health and human right to foster greater understanding on the health and human rights issues that impact trans people and consequently influence their social marginalization.
Born Free and Equal
United Nations Human Rights Office publication on sexual orientation and gender identity in international human rights law.
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCRH)
The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights is committed to working with States, national human rights institutions and civil society to achieve progress towards the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality and further measures to protect people from violence and discrimination on grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
First ever report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity (PDF, 706KB).
Dec. 15, 2011
Navi Pillay Video Message
May 6, 2011
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has renewed her call for States to confront prejudice towards lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) persons.
Activities of the Human Rights Office
Combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The UN Speaks Out Brochure
Tackling discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
United Nations Human Rights Council
Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (A/HRC/22/53)
Inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in the report and in conclusions and recommendations.
Feb. 1, 2013
The United Nations Human Rights Council held its first dedicated discussion on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity. March 7, 2012
- Archive video of the panel
- The Secretary General's video message
Resolution L.9/Rev.1: Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity (Available in all official languages of the UN)
June 17, 2011
First-ever UN resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity
Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based On Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
16th Session, March 22, 2011
The United States joined 84 other countries signing on to this statement.
NGO Joint Statement on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Human Rights (PDF, 61KB)
16th Session, March 22, 2011
APA joined more than 119 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from more than 60 countries signing on to this statement.
Human Rights Council
An intergovernmental body within the UN system made up of 47 states responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCO leads a landmark anti-bullying initiative, first-ever international consultation to address bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) students in educational institutions
Dec. 13, 2011
Organization of American States
Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity (DOC, 33KB)
Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 7, 2011.
In 2006, in response to well-documented patterns of abuse, a distinguished group of international human rights experts met in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to outline a set of international principles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. The result was the Yogyakarta Principles: a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding international legal standards with which all States must comply. They promise a different future where all people born free and equal in dignity and rights can fulfill that precious birthright.
Struggle for equality: Sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights in Africa
January 2011, Perspectives
Heinrich Böll Foundation, Southern Africa
Pubertal blockade safe for pediatric patients with gender identity disorder
Endocrine Today, Feb. 16, 2012
Psychology International, October 2010
LGBT Activities at the International Congress of Applied Psychology: A Programming Stream, A Symposium, a Resolution, and a Network
Cross-National Study by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), shows vast majority of countries have become more accepting of homosexuality; trend slower or reversed in Russia and other ex-socialist countries. May 2011
31st International Congress of Psychology
July 24-29, 2016