The Global Equality Fund supports programs that advance the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons around the world. The Fund was launched by U.S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Human Rights Day in December 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland, where she reaffirmed “[h]uman rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights.”
The $3 million fund is supported by the U.S. government. While providing tangible assistance to LGBT civil society groups around the world, the Fund also serves to underscore the U.S. State Department’s commitment to ensuring LGBT people worldwide are able to exercise their human rights with dignity.
Civil society organizations access funds through:
“Dignity for All”: LGBT Emergency Assistance Program
“Dignity for All,” the Fund’s rapid response mechanism, aims to uphold the dignity and fundamental freedoms of the most at-risk LGBT people worldwide. The Fund provides emergency and preventative assistance to civil society organizations under physical threat or unable to operate freely without serious harassment or threat of retaliation due to their work related to LGBT human rights issues. Implemented by a global consortium of organizations, “Dignity for All” also augments the capacity of organizations to respond to security concerns and enables advocates to respond quickly to events that signal a backsliding in the protection of human rights. Specific support will include emergency assistance to civil society groups and victims of abuse, small grants for advocacy initiatives and support to LGBT civil society organizations to implement long-term security plans.
Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
The Global Equality Fund currently supports programs which provide technical assistance and capacity building to local and national civil society groups. In sub-Saharan Africa, the Fund is supporting projects to enhance the ability of local groups to monitor, document and address human rights violations targeting LGBT individuals and communities. The Fund also plans to support programs that strengthen legal protections for LGBT people, including through efforts to decriminalize consensual same-sex conduct; protect LGBT people from violence, and address societal discrimination. The Fund will support groups around the world, including in current priority regions – the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.