Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme

The Sexuality, Law and Poverty Programme provides new evidence-based knowledge and new policy options that support efforts to: (1) strengthen, through legal reform, the rights of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex) people and others marginalised because of their sexuality; and (2) support LGBTI people and others marginalised because of their sexuality to establish sustainable livelihoods. The theme produces risk-sensitive, practical approaches that can be implemented to achieve legal reform and tackle poverty among people marginalised due to their sexuality.

This programme will produce evidence-based, practical options for activists and policymakers for strengthening legal protection of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, questioning) people and sexuality rights. A second aspect of the programme will focus on understanding the links between sexuality, gender plurality and poverty with the aim of improving economic policy and programming to support people marginalised because of their sexuality. Working closely with established networks and movements, approaches to protecting and respecting rights will be based on strategies drawn from local communities that are most affected.

IDS has strong connections with local actors, networks and institutions that work on sexuality and has a proven track record of convening global networks, for example the Pathways of Women's Empowerment RPC, and working with international development actors, for example donors from foundations such as the Open Society Institute and the Ford Foundation, to develop effective policy options.

Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme website

The Sexuality, Poverty and Law website aims to keep you updated on sexuality and development issues, alongside research and policy recommendations in a rapidly changing and globally connected field of research. As well as including key issues guides, policy findings, and case studies, the site features our unique, free interactive Toolkit for Sexuality and Social Justice that shares learning on strategies to strengthen rights and improve the lives of those marginalised because of their sexuality.

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View all Research Programme's publications

Use this search to display this programme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


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ER89 Front Cover

Research Methods and Visualisation Tools for Online LGBT Communities

IDS Evidence Report 89 (2014)

Field research among geographically dispersed communities is time-consuming and costly. When people are stigmatised, field research has additional ethical and logistical problems. In many countries lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (people are both geographically dispersed and stigmatised. More details

ER80 Front Cover

Sex Workers, Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation in Ethiopia

IDS Evidence Report 80 (2014)

This case study explores economic, legal and social issues that affect sex workers, with a particular focus on the role of poverty in sex workers’ lives and the potential for poverty alleviation policies and programmes to help lift as many sex workers as possible out of poverty in order to reduce the exploitation, illness and violence associated with their work. More details

ER74 Front Cover

Negotiating Public and Legal Spaces: The Emergence of an LGBT Movement in Vietnam

IDS Evidence Report 74 (2014)

Vietnam’s laws, policies and decrees do not explicitly discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals but their rights are not legally protected and they are socially marginalised. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Sexuality and Social Justice: A Toolkit

This free interactive toolkit documents the learning from the Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme at the Institute for Development Studies. More details

ER61 Front Cover

A Critical Analysis of Public Policies on Education and LGBT Rights in Brazil

IDS Evidence Report 61 (2014)

This audit analyses key aspects of public policies in education and sexuality in Brazil, which have been designed as part of the wider programme Brazil Without Homophobia (BWH – Programa Brasil sem Homofobia), launched in 2004. Tackling homophobia and its cultural and social effects has been highlighted by a number of authors as an important policy strategy. More details

Evidence Report 55 Front Cover

Literature Review on Sexuality and Poverty

IDS Evidence Report 55 (2014)

This review contributes to the larger Sexuality, Poverty and Law Theme of the Accountable Grant, which aims to produce evidence-based, practical options for activists and policymakers for strengthening legal protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, questioning people and for sexual rights more generally. More details

Evidence report 53 teaser image

Sexuality and Poverty Synthesis Report

This report synthesises learning from these audits and is part of a larger project that focuses on understanding the links between sexuality, gender plurality and poverty with the aim of improving socioeconomic policy and programming to support people marginalised because of their sexuality. More details

This is the cover for IDS Evidence Report 49, 'Sexuality and the Law: Case Studies from Cambodia, Egypt, Nepal and South Africa'.

Sexuality and the Law: Case Studies from Cambodia, Egypt, Nepal and South Africa

IDS Evidence Report 49 (2014)

This paper provides a synthesis of five case studies on the relationship between sexuality and law. More details

Policy audit: a heteronormativity audit of RMSA - a higher education programme in Indian schools

Policy Audit: A heteronormativity audit of RMSA - a higher education programme in Indian schools

IDS Evidence Report 47 (2013)

This report shares the findings of a sexuality and gender audit of a national government programme to strengthen secondary school education in India More details

Image teaser for ER44

The Implications of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 on Uganda's Legal System

IDS Evidence Report 44 (2013)

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 (AHB or the bill) was controversial right from the time of its inception. More details

Image Teaser for ER41

'Marriage Above All Else': The Push for Heterosexual, Nuclear Families in the Making of South Africa's White Paper on Families

IDS Evidence Report 41 (2013)

This report comments on the policymaking processes that led to the development of the White Paper on Families as it exists in its current iteration (November 2012). More details

Image teaser for Evidence Report 23

From Sex Work to Entertainment and Trafficking: Implications of a Paradigm Shift for Sexuality, Law and Activism in Cambodia

IDS Evidence Report 23 (2013)

This case study describes and examines the impact of the changes brought about by the new legislation in Cambodia against sex work. More details

Image teaser for Evidence Report 21

Policy Audit: Social Protection Policies and Urban Poor LBTs in the Philippines

IDS Evidence Report 21 (2013)

LGBT discourses worldwide have tended to focus on marriage equality at the expense of other equally pressing but sometimes ‘less sexy’ concerns such as gender-based discrimination and violence, and poverty among sexual minorities. More details

Image Teaser for Evidence Report 13

Development, Discourse and Law: Transgender and Same-Sex Sexualities in Nepal

IDS Evidence Report 13 (2013)

This report presents research conducted in Nepal between November 2012 and January 2013 aimed at exploring the legal, social and economic context pertaining to sexual and gender minority rights. More details

This is the teaser image for IDS Evidence Report 7, 'Politically Motivated Sexual Assault and the Law in Violent Transitions: A Case Study from Egypt'.

Politically Motivated Sexual Assault and the Law in Violent Transitions: A Case Study from Egypt

IDS Evidence Report 8 (2013)

This case study is about the use of sexual violence against women and men in order to deter the opposition from engaging in protests and demonstrations in a context of a country in transition, Egypt. More details

Image Teaser for Evidence Report 7

A Progressive Constitution Meets Lived Reality: Sexuality and the Law in South Africa

IDS Evidence Report 7 (2013)

This paper examines two cases of homophobic hate crime in post-apartheid South Africa. It illuminates how activists have used the legal system to address the violence faced by many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex (LGBTQI) South Africans. More details

Image Teaser for Evidence Report 3, 'Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Women Living with HIV in South Africa'

Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Women Living with HIV in South Africa

IDS Evidence Report 3 (2013)

South Africa's constitutional and legal framework reflects the country's commitment to women's Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in line with international commitments. Nevertheless, women's rights are still abused and overlooked. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Creative Nepal - Expressions of Sexuality and Gender

This website is the product of research that was conducted by Nepal’s sexual and gender minorities, Paul Boyce and Daniel Coyle in December 2012 as part of a larger research funded by the Institute of Development Studies on Sexuality and Law in different countries around the world. More details

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