How does the ILGA World Database work?
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The ILGA World Database is a unique knowledge base on laws, advocacy opportunities, human rights bodies and news about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics worldwide.

In this video, we will explore the Database together so you can make the most out of it. Watch the video or scroll down to read the transcription.
You can access the ILGA World Database at


How does the ILGA World Database work? - video transcription


Welcome to the ILGA World Database. This is a unique knowledge base on laws, advocacy opportunities, human rights bodies and news related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex

characteristics worldwide. My name is Lucas Ramón Mendos, I am ILGA World's Research Coordinator, and in this video, we will explore the Database together so that you can make the most out of it. Accessing all of this information has historically been very difficult for activists, scholars, researchers, media professionals, government officials, and human rights institutions. Well, not anymore. We have put all of this together in one place.

Our Database is open-access, easily available and grounded on data and research. The ILGA World Database is profoundly inspired by the idea to create a tool that would boost our LGBTI communities' capacities to conduct research and advocate for our cause at the national, regional and international levels. The Database is structured in six areas.

Area 1: Legal Frameworks.

Area 2: Human Rights Treaties.

Area 3: UN Treaty Bodies.

Area 4: UN Special Procedures.

Area 5: Universal Periodic Review.

Area 6: UN voting record and statements

You will be able to access the information on the Database in two ways: either through each of the areas or, in a cross-cutting way, by jurisdiction. Each of the 193 UN member States and 47 non-UN member jurisdictions have their own profile, where you will find all the information relevant to each of them. This also includes every advocacy opportunity upcoming deadline and a selection of the latest SOGIESC-related news coming from the ILGA World Monitor. So let's dive in, shall we?

Area 1 of the Database compiles more than 4,300 legal instruments - including laws, bills, judicial decisions, executive orders, ministerial resolutions, among many others. Structured into 18 legal categories, including criminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual acts, restrictions to freedom of expression and freedom of association, constitutional protection against discrimination, protection against discrimination in the provision of goods and services, in education, in healthcare, in employment, and in housing, the prohibition of incitement to hatred, violence and discrimination, hate crime legislation, regulation of so-called "conversion therapies", recognition of same-sex unions and adoption for same-sex couples, the prohibition of interventions on intersex minors and legal gender recognition, including non-binary gender markers. 

And for the Legal Framework section, we want every user to fully understand why countries have been included in certain categories and why not. To that end, every single entry brings an explanation and a link to the original legal sources that justify their inclusion into any given category. 

We continue to track laws that criminalise consensual same-sex sexual acts, and you will now have access to our data through interactive graphs and charts showing the global trend towards decriminalisation worldwide and the geographical distribution of these laws. The data on the enforcement of these criminalising laws is also made available in this section under each country entry, providing easy access to a pool of more than 1,000 examples of instances of enforcement which we will keep updating. 

Our data now goes deeper than the national level, tracking laws and regulations at the level of states, provinces, cantons, prefectures, or any other entity at the first level of administrative divisions, including in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the United States, the Philippines, Peru, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In addition to sexual orientation, the ILGA World Database now also tracks all laws protecting our communities from discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics. This means that you will not find one, but actually four tallies for each of the protection categories that we track on the Database, disaggregating data in order to truly represent the extent to which our communities are legally protected. 

For the first time, a global Database will map laws and regulations restricting non-vital medical interventions on intersex minors. The ILGA World Database also brings easy access to laws providing for legal gender recognition worldwide. All requirements for name and gender marker change are displayed on interactive maps and charts that can be sorted and filtered. The Database also tracks the availability of non-binary gender markers across the world and provides specific information as to what markers are available, who can access them and under what conditions.

Area 2 of the Database systematises the ratification of the main human rights treaties at the UN level. We also track the extent to which States have accepted individual communications and inquiry procedures to better inform advocacy opportunities with Treaty Bodies. Our Database also tracks legal developments across different human rights bodies.

For example, in Area 3, you will find all SOGIESC references and recommendations made by UN Treaty Bodies in their concluding observations, their general recommendations, their inquiry proceedings, and their individual communications. You will be able to filter by type of document, date or topics, either from the section that compiles the work of all Treaty Bodies or in the sections dedicated to each Committee.

Under Area 4, we compile more than 3,000 SOGIESC-related references and recommendations issued by Special Procedures. This includes references in their annual reports to the General Assembly or the Human Rights Council, their country visits, their urgent appeals, or their individual communications. Every single entry is thematically tagged so you can track the content of your interest. Additionally, interactive maps and charts will provide you with access to the geographical spread of these references and recommendations and the total number of references and recommendations by mandate for each country. 

We also compile all recommendations on SOGIESC issues in the context of the Universal Periodic Review. You will find them in Area 5 of the Database. Three different interactive maps will show you to what extent countries are issuing, receiving, accepting or rejecting recommendations. Through interactive maps, you will also be able to explore the interactions between States at the Universal Periodic Review. For each State, these maps display which countries they have issued recommendations to, and from which countries they have received SOGIESC recommendations. Additionally, all recommendations have been thematically tagged so that you can filter them in conjunction with any other filter.

Finally, Area 6 of the Database delves into UN resolutions and statements with SOGIESC components issued at the Human Rights Council in Geneva or the General Assembly in New York. It will provide easy access to know how each State has positioned itself in every vote, and to what extent they have sponsored initiatives. Well, you've seen a lot of interactive maps in this video: I'm sure you'll be glad to know that you can actually customize them. You can make them Atlantic-or Pacific-centered. You can hide or display the names of countries and jurisdictions. You can enlarge the size of microstates to make them visible in a world map. And you can actually zoom in and access regional maps. And you can download every map in .jpg format for web distribution, or in a vectorised format for large print without any loss of quality. If you spot an error or you think that an entry can be improved or expanded, you will find a button that will allow you to easily provide us with feedback on the content of that entry. You can either report an error or make a comment, and the tool will also allow you to attach the relevant legal source if you actually have access to it.

In the Database, we will continually track deadlines for the submission of shadow reports or other calls for contributions, country-specific or otherwise, for the benefit of activists who wish to engage with UN mechanisms. A day countdown tracker will let you know how many days you've got left to submit your report to the Universal Periodic Review of your country, UN Special Procedures, or UN Treaty Bodies.

 Any content in the Database can be very easily and quickly brought into your research paper, your advocacy paper, or any other document you may be working on for your research or advocacy work. You just need to click the "citation" button, and that will bring the content of the entry with the fully-formatted citation to your clipboard, ready to be pasted into any word processor. But that's not all. You can also get access to an advanced search engine to search across different areas. You can also access a tool to compare two or more countries on any given aspect tracked by the Database. 

We also put specific care to make this Database accessible to people with disabilities. However, if you have any issues accessing the content, please do reach out to accessibility(at)ilga(dot)org.

Now it's time for you to go explore. Thank you so much for your time and your attention. If you have any doubts, don't hesitate to reach out to [email protected]: we will be happy to be of assistance.

With the ILGA World Database, you have a world of SOGIESC data just a click away.

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