Gender and sexual diversity

Everyone is entitled to the universal human rights and freedoms, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In many countries, there has been a positive development towards inclusion and equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. Still, in countries across the world LGBT+ persons are exposed to discrimination and abuse.

The Norwegian Government is working to end persecution and discrimination of LGBT+ persons, and has identified specific action points for its international work in the National Action Plan on Gender and Sexual Diversity (2023-2026). Efforts to promote equal rights and opportunities for LGBT+ people is also part of the Action Plan for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Norway’s Foreign and Development Policy (2023-2030).  

 In 2016, a resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council adopted the mandate of the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity . The UN mandate was renewed in 2019 and 2022. The Independent Expert reports on human rights challenges at country level and globally, and makes recommendations to the UN and UN member states.  

The Council of Europe has played a leading role in promoting international cooperation for protection of human rights for LGBT+ people. In 2010, it adopted a recommendation to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. This is the only negotiated intergovernmental instrument in this area.

Norway’s international efforts are carried out in close dialogue and cooperation with local and international LGBT+ organisations. Norway  provides support to the development of local LGBT+ organisations through its development assistance and the EEA and Norway Grants.

Norway is a member of the Equal Rights Coalition, an intergovernmental network of more than 40 countries established  to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT+ people around the world. The coalition cooperates closely with international LHBT+ organisations.

Areas of priority

  • Prioritize access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for all;Advocate for equality and human rights for queer people in multilateral organisations; Emphasise dialogue with queer representatives and provide financial support to queer organisations.
  • Prioritise and continue efforts to promote queer rights in Europe through the EEA and Norway Grants;
  • Contribute to ensuring that queer people's need for protection and basic services is addressed in humanitarian responses.

Action Plans