Reducing the number of countries that criminalise homosexuality

Equal Rights


The problem

There are countless activitists working for LGBT+ rights around the world, how might we help these groups work together and increase their effectiveness?

The solution

123+ provides a platform for LGBT organisations and non-profits to access expert advice, tools, and share learnings regardless of their size or locaiton.

Project updates

123+ has won several awards including the UNLEASH Silver Award, and a winner of the UNLEASH+ Accelerator program.

The Problem

Homosexuality is still illegal in many countries

73 countries still criminalise homosexuality to some degree - from non-enforced punishment, through to the death penalty. These laws impact millions of LGBTIQ+ people around the world. We can change that, but we we need to rally together - better.

In each of the 73 countries where homosexuality is illegal, there are people working hard towards decriminalisation. However, there are a number of key barriers and constraints which limit their efforts including a lack of resources, limited capacity and knowledge, as well as isolation and disparateness.

Globally, only 24 cents out of $100 philanthropic dollars go towards LGBT+ issues. And less than 1% of those 24 cents goes towards decriminalisation - a tiny 0.0024% of global philanthropic funding.

There are many contributing factors to why 123+ and the decriminalisation of homosexuality is needed, however, the most pressing factor is the mental health of the LGBT+ community around the world which experiences 3x higher rates of poor mental health, 10x higher rates of suicide and suicide attempts, as well as 1 in 2 LGBTiQ+ experiencing physical violence.

The Solution

Evidence-based, collective action

We believe no one should ever be imprisoned or murdered because of who they are or who they love. 123+ represents the spirit of the now 125 countries (it was 123 when the project began) that have fully decriminalised homosexuality.

Our mission, by 2030, is for every country to have the bespoke knowledge, resources, and skills they need to decriminalise homosexuality. 123+ provide these resources as the central, global knowledge hub and specialist network for catalysing LGBT+ rights.

123+ is designed to help reduce each of the barriers outlined above by providing knowledge, reducing isolation, rallying resources, and engaging international support.

The Process

Research · algorithm · action

1 · Research

Creation of the world’s largest, open-source database of cross-contextual LGBT+ rights catalysts and “required conditions” for decriminalisation.

The database is created from 123+’s own research team as well as data contributed from around the world. This database effectively outlines “what it has taken” to decriminalise homosexuality across the 123 different contexts. The required conditions examined include "context", "norms & structures", "influence & understanding", and "direct advocacy".

2 · Algorithm Development

Based on the findings of Phase 1, an algorithm and framework will be developed to determine necessary conditions for decriminalisation, trends, and other patterns within the data. This will allow the creation of:

  • A “general best practice” decriminalisation framework, which includes consistent themes from around the world of conditions that have resulted in decriminalisation.
  • An interactive platform that determines a bespoke “blueprint for action” based on a country’s specific context.

3 · Bespoke Action

123+ pivots from focusing on knowledge collection and analysis, to practical utilisation and leveraging of that knowledge by working with and consulting to advocates and change-makers in criminalised countries.

The Impact

Decriminalisation worldwide

Legislative change can take years, if not decades.

So, although our overall impact aim is for no one to live in a country where it's illegal to be LGBT+, a more immediate goal is for every country to have the bespoke knowledge, resources, and skills they need to decriminalise homosexuality.

Visit the official 123+ website for more information or to get involved.

project team

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