OutRight Action International

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OutRight Action International
Logo OutRight Action International, 2015.svg
MottoHuman rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere[1]
PurposeLGBT human rights
HeadquartersNew York City[3]
Region served
Executive Director
Jessica Stern
Key people
Board Chair: Roger Doughty

OutRight Action International (OutRight) is a LGBTIQ human rights non-governmental organization that addresses human rights violations and abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, and transgender people. OutRight Action International documents human rights discrimination and abuses based on their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in partnership with activists, advocates, media, NGOs and allies on a local, regional, national and international level. OutRight Action International holds consultative status with ECOSOC.[4]

History and work[edit]

OutRight Action International, formerly known as International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission,[5] was founded by Julie Dorf[6] in 1990, and incorporated as a non-profit organization on November 7, 1990. Though initially focused on LGBT human rights abuses in Russia, the organization is now active in many parts of the world, including the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. OutRight Action International is headquartered in New York City with satellite offices on the West Coast and in Spain, and Manila.[7] OutRight Action International has a digital archive of their LGBT human rights documentation and education materials for research.

On July 19, 2010, the United Nations Economic and Social Council voted to accredit IGLHRC, (OutRight Action International) as one of the NGOs granted consultative status with the international organization. This allows IGLHRC to attend U.N meetings, contribute statements, and collaborate with United Nations agencies.[8][9]

In 2010, IGLHRC contributed in forming "An Activist's Guide" of the Yogyakarta Principles.[10]

In 2015, on the 25th anniversary of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) changed its name to OutRight Action International[5] to make it more inclusive.

In 2015, OutRight's executive director Jessica Stern presented the first United Nations Security Council briefing on LGBTI human rights violations.[11][12]

In 2015, OutRight in partnership with CUNY Law School[13] started a one-day conference on Human Rights Day called OutSummit.[14]

In 2016, as a member of the United Nations LGBTI Core Group (LGBT rights at the United Nations), OutRight took part in a high level UN event that included the 8th Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, 47th United States Vice President Joe Biden, President of Chile and Norway's Prime Minister.[15]

In 2017, OutRight challenged the inclusion of C-Fam to the US delegation at the UN CSW 2017.[16][17]

In 2018, Neish McLean, Executive Director of TransWave and OutRight Caribbean Program Officer, presented the intervention statement on behalf of the Major Groups and Other Stakeholders in response to Jamaica’s Voluntary National Reviews at the United Nations.[18][19]


OutRight’s work is organized in four regional programs (Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean), and cross-regional programs focused on the United Nations, global research and safety and security for LGBTIQ activists.

Work in the Asia region promotes acceptance of sexual and gender diversity at all levels of society. The 2014 Report “Violence: Through The Lens of Lesbians, Bisexual Women And Trans People In Asia”[20] collected and reviewed data from five countries in the region. Recent projects focused on domestic violence protections for LGBT in the Philippines[21] and Sri Lanka.[22]

Work in the Middle East and North Africa region has focused on Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. The 2018 report “Activism and Resilience: LGBTQ Progress in the Middle East and North Africa”[23] explains how activism in the region leads to progress on LGBTQ issues, and how challenges are met with the resilience by the movement.

Work in the Caribbean region supports organizations to achieve legal registration and provides support in establishing and building the capacity of newly founded organizations as well as combating gender-based violence.

Research in 2018 focused on legal registration for LGBT organizations globally and findings were published in the report, "The Global State of LGBTIQ Organising: The Right to Register".[24]

United Nations Program[edit]

OutRight is the first and only U.S.-based LGBTIQ human rights organization to obtain consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). OutRight uses its status to work as an organizer[25] convening of groups and activists coming to New York to conduct advocacy on LGBTIQ issues at the United Nations. OutRight does direct advocacy work across the United Nations with a focus on the General Assembly, Commission on the Status of Women, and High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Two OutRight events bridge UN direct advocacy work with global LGBTIQ activists and advocates: Advocacy Week[26] and the UN Religious Fellowship.[27] OutRight engages relevant national, regional and international stakeholders, including UN member State missions, UN special mechanisms, UN agencies and the UN Secretariat to support LGBTIQ rights at UN headquarters, including the United Nations LGBTI Core Group.[28][circular reference]


Felipa de Souza Award[edit]

Since 1994, OutRight confers an annual award, the Felipa de Souza Award, to honour a human rights activist or organization.[29]

Year Award Location
1994 Juan Pablo Ordonez
Lepa Mladjenovic
South Africa
1995 Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Group (TGLRG)
Luiz Mott
1996 No award
1997 Demet Demir
Genc Xhelaj
The Sister Namibia Collective
Wilfredo Valencia Palacios (honourable mention)
El Salvador
1998 Circulo Cultural Gay (CCG)
Dr. Tal Jarus-Hakak
Dede Oetomo
Nancy Cardenas (1934–1994, posthum)
Carlos Jauregui (1958–1996, posthumous)
1999 Aung Myo Min
Prudence Mabele
Kiri Kiri and Chingu Sai
Simon Nkoli (1957–1998, posthumous)
South Africa
South Korea
South Africa
2000 Dejan Nebrigic (1970–1999, posthumous)
Ditshwanelo - The Botswana Center for Human Rights
Intersex Society of North America (ISNA)
William Hernandez
United States
El Salvador
2001 Companions on a Journey and Women's Support Group
Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-Flag)
Luis Gauthier (1950–2000, posthumous)
Sri Lanka
2002 Elizabeth Calvet (posthumous)
Marta Lucia Alvarez Giraldo, Marta Lucia
Tamayo Rincon and Alba Nelly Montoya
Cui Zi En
Maher Sabry

2003 Lohana Berkins Argentina
2004 Gender/Sexuality Rights Association Taiwan (G/STRAT) Taiwan
2005 Gay and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) Zimbabwe
2006 Rauda Morcos (ASWAT) Palestinian Activist from Haifa, Israel
2007 Blue Diamond Society Nepal
2008 Iranian Queer Organization
Andrés Ignacio Rivera Duarte
Canada / Iranian Diaspora
2009 Helem Lebanese Protection for LGBT
LGBT Centre
2010 Colombia Diversa Colombia
2011 Mongolian LGBT Centre Mongolia
2012 Karen Atala Chile
2013 Yasemin Öz, Esq. Turkey
2014 Gay Japan News; KRYSS; O; Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights); Women’s Support Group Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka
2015 Chesterfield Samba, Gays & Lesbians of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
2016 Arus Pelangi, National Federation of LGBTI Communities in Indonesia Indonesia
2017 Caleb Orozco Belize
2018 Georges Azzi Executive Director of The Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality

Outspoken Award[edit]

OutRight occasionally presents the Outspoken Award to special honorees. The Outspoken Award "recognizes the leadership of a global ally to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community whose outspokenness has contributed substantially to advancing the rights and understanding of LGBTI people everywhere."[30]

Year Presented Award
2005-2011 The first Outspoken Award was presented in 2005 to the Honorable Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In 2008, IGLHRC presented its second Outspoken Award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.[31] The 2010 Outspoken awardee was Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. The 2011 Outspoken awardee was journalist and author Jeff Sharlet.[32]
2016 United Nations Free and Equal Campaign,[33] Randy Barry, US Special Envoy for the human rights of LGBTI people,[34] and Dan Bross, Microsoft executive, and LGBT rights advocate.[35]
2017 Logo TV was accepted by Pamela Post, Vice President of original programming and series development, and OutStanding Awardee Blanche Wiesen Cook, prize-winning biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt.[36]
2018 Lois Whitman, a children's human rights activist.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "OutRight". OutRight. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  2. ^ "NGO rating".
  3. ^ "OutRight". OutRight. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  4. ^ From list of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC
  5. ^ a b Lavers, Michael K. (28 September 2015). "EXCLUSIVE: IGLHRC to change its name". Washington Blade.
  6. ^ Founder of IGLHRC
  7. ^ Charity Navigator
  8. ^ Edih M. Lederer, "US gay rights group gets UN accreditation", July 19, 2010
  9. ^ U.S. Gay Rights Group Gets U.N. Accreditation
  10. ^ Original document with IGLHRC listed as contributor
  11. ^ "Gay and Marked for Death" NY Times Article about briefing
  12. ^ Islamic State focus of U.N. Security Council’s first LGBT meeting
  13. ^ First Annual OutSummit Conference
  14. ^ OutSummit One Day Conference
  15. ^ Biden made the comment during an event that the U.N. LGBT Core Group
  16. ^ Reuters Foundation Exposes An Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Representing America At UN Women’s Rights Event
  17. ^ Trump Sends Anti-trans Pro-lifer Bethany Kozma to Women's Rights Conference at the U.N.
  18. ^ Jamaica presents national statement on SDGs to UN this week
  19. ^ Response to Jamaica's voluntary national review statement
  20. ^ LGBTQ Intimate Partner Violence
  21. ^ Fuel for Your Fire: LGBTIQ Activists From Around the World Share Their Stories
  22. ^ Enhancing Domestic Violence Protections for LGBT in Philippines and Sri Lanka
  23. ^ Middle Eastern LGBTQ Activism Produces Progress, Inspiration
  24. ^ LGBT Groups Banned From Organising Around The World, Says Report
  25. ^ UN New Yorker 7th Edition
  26. ^ Global LGBTIQ Voices From 36 Countries Heard at the United Nations
  27. ^ Meet OutRight’s 2018 Religion Fellows
  28. ^ The United Nations LGBTI Core Group
  29. ^ The Felipa de Souza Award ~ OutRightInternational.org
  30. ^ OutRight Honors LGBTIQ Human Rights Defenders
  31. ^ Tutu Condemns Gay Persecution
  32. ^ International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission Honors Dartmouth Professor
  33. ^ United Nations Free and Equal Campaign OHCHR Receives OutSpoken Award
  34. ^ Special Recognition Awardees Randy Barry
  35. ^ Dan Bross, Microsoft executive, and LGBT rights Advocate
  36. ^ OutRight Honors LGBTIQ Human Rights Defenders at United Nations
  37. ^ OutRight Action International Honors the Fight for LGBTQ Equality in the Middle East

External links[edit]