Leilani, IPPF
Fakaleiti (‘leiti’) is a Tongan word to describe transgender women, coming from the English word “lady”. In Tonga, the transgender community is organized by the Tonga Leiti Association (TLA). Leilani (pictured), who identifies as a leiti, has been working with TLA for many years to battle the stigma surrounding the leiti and LGBTI+ community in Tonga. Photo courtesy of IPPF.

LGBTQIA+ Facts & Stats

There is a lack of quality data on sexual orientation and gender identity globally due to sensitivities and widespread criminalization.

  • 76 countries criminalize sexual acts between adults of the same sex.[1]
  • Because LGBTQIA+ persons are often in hiding, accurate statistics are unavailable. However, the Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration (ORAM) estimates that around 175 million LGBTQIA+ people are living in persecutory environment yearly. Only 30,000 are able to flee and subsist in countries of transit/asylum (estimated figure per year).
  • Only two countries—Canada and the United States—resettle LGBT refugees as a matter of practice.
  • Achieving sexual and reproductive health for all must include people’s right to freely define their own sexuality, including sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE). In other words, opposition to reproductive freedom is directly linked to the opposition of sexuality and gender expression.
  • In 2016, the UN adopted resolution 32/2 that calls for the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

[1] https://ilga.org/maps-sexual-orientation-laws