LGBTI Inclusion in Development Policy and Agenda 2030


RFSL presents “Guiding Principles on the Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) People in Development Policy and Programs.” The "Guiding Principles" is a new tool for all actors engaging in development programs and policy work, including the Agenda 2030.

Today, RFSL launches the “Guiding Principles on the Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) People in Development Policy and Programs.”  These guiding principles are meant to serve as a tool for all stakeholders in designing, implementing and monitoring international, national, and local development activities related to LGBTI people, with a vision to achieving the United Nations Agenda 2030 and other development priorities.

In 2015, all 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the Agenda 2030, the world’s most ambitious plan of action to eradicate poverty, achieve gender equality, and foster peaceful, just and, inclusive societies, among other goals. The guiding pledge of the Agenda 2030 is “Leaving no one behind,” a recognition that the Agenda, and all 17 of its goals and 169 targets, cannot be achieved without the inclusion of all people, especially those farthest marginalized. In this context, the Agenda 2030 provides an opportunity to celebrate and improve the lives of LGBTI people, a community that has historically faced stigma, discrimination, and institutional exclusion in development activities.

“Trillions of dollars are going into materializing the Agenda 2030, towards alleviating the world’s most pressing problems like poverty, inequality, access to employment, education, healthcare, and housing. These issues disproportionately impact the LGBTI community. Without the inclusion and meaningful participation of LGBTI people in this plan, the Agenda 2030 will never be achieved.”

Said Sandra Ehne, President of RFSL, commenting on the release of the guiding principles and the role of Sweden and RFSL in the Agenda 2030.

The principles recognize that a wide variety of actors play fundamental roles in implementing the Agenda 2030 and other development priorities. These include governments, corporations, multilateral organizations, NGOs, civil society and individuals, among others.

“Research shows clearly that excluding LGBTI people in development initiatives is bad for the economy and leads to the loss of human potential. This toolkit gives governments and development actors ways to address health, HIV and AIDS prevention, sexual and reproductive health and rights, homelessness, poverty, youth and education. It is a pathway for stakeholders to put into practice LGBTI inclusion and live up to the Agenda 2030 pledge of “Leaving no one behind.”

Commented Micah Grzywnowicz, International Advocacy Advisor, at RFSL.

The guiding principles released today, touches on multiple aspects of inclusive development for LGBTI people, such as:

  • Addressing fundamental questions about the realities and lived experience of LGBTI people, and responding to misconceptions and stereotypes that are often used to exclude LGBTI people from development activities.

  • The role of LGBTI communities and non-governmental organizations in development activities, including data and research activities.

  • The operations of development agencies and individual development practitioners.

Download the Guiding Principles (pdf opens in new tab).

Download the For All The Sustainable Development Goals and LGBTI people