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The Sustainable Development Goals and LGBT Inclusion

“When the United Nations decided to create a set of global goals to end poverty and inequality by 2030, equality groups pushed for the rights and needs of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people to be taken into account. The result, The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was agreed in 2015 and signed onto by 193 governments on the basis that they apply to everyone, everywhere and will ‘leave no one behind’. Although at Stonewall we think the SDGs could have gone further by explicitly calling for LGBT equality, we recognise their exciting potential to advance equality for all.

The ‘leave no one behind’ principle is especially relevant for LGBT people, who have been repeatedly left behind by national and international development initiatives. Discriminatory laws, projects that don’t acknowledge their specific needs and negative social attitudes have all combined to hold LGBT people back. The impacts of this are felt by LGBT communities in all parts of the world - lower income, worse health, less education, among others. As a result, poverty as a whole will never truly be eradicated until this problem is directly addressed.

We believe this is unacceptable. We are calling for governments and development organisations worldwide to keep their promise and to make sure the challenges facing LGBT people are accounted for in their responses to the SDGs. By doing this, we can help achieve our mission for every person to be accepted without exception.

This short guide demonstrates some of the ways LGBT equality can be achieved. It looks at seven of the 17 goals and highlights the challenges LGBT people face. It then showcases some of the brilliant work that is already being done worldwide to make sure LGBT people are fully included and have their needs met. It also suggests practical actions for organisations working on different development issues.

Whether you work for a charity, a government or a private sector organisation, the goals are a shared responsibility. There are many ways you can take action to include and respond to the needs of LGBT people in international development. ”