If you’re gay and travelling abroad, it’s sensible to check the laws governing sex and sexuality in whichever country you’re visiting.

Dozens of countries still imprison LGBT+ people, and nine still threaten the death penalty.

The list below shows the maximum sentences carried in each country for homosexuality or homosexual behaviour. While it’s useful as a first indicator of a country’s stance, it is no means definitive and tells you very little about the specific laws in each individual location. The different offences resulting in each sentence below may be very different.

We recommend that before travelling anywhere you first check the Foreign Office website, search for the desired country, and look for guidance directed at LGBT+ people in the ‘Local laws and customs’ tab.

It’s also worth checking guide books and talking to people from the country in question, probably starting with local LGBT+ groups, who can give you a clear idea of how the law is implemented, and what local attitudes are like.


Maximum sentences in countries that criminalise homosexuality

LIFE

India,  Gambia, Ghana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone

Barbados, Guyana, Bangladesh

20 YEARS

Malaysia

17 YEARS

Egypt

4 YEARS

United Arab States

Papua New Guinea

Tuvalu

Solomon Islands

Kiribati

Nigeria

Kenya

Malawi

Zambia 

10YEARS

South Sudan

Ethiopia

Dominica

Granada

Jamaica

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Sri Lanka

Tonga

Zimbabwe

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

7 YEARS

Botswana

Samoa 

Qatar

6 YEARS

Kuwait

5 YEARS

Cameroon

Senegal

Comoros

Mauritius 

4 YEARS

Libya

3 YEARS

Morocco

Togo

Uzbekistan

Guinea

Eritrea

Oman

Syria

Tunisia

2 YEARS

Algeria

Burundi

Turkmenistan

Pakistan

1 YEAR

Liberia

Bhutan

NO FIXED TIME

Chad

Namibia

Swaziland


Countries that carry fines for convicted homosexuality

Angola - fines and restrictions


Countries where a homosexuality conviction carries torture as a punishment

Maldives - whipping for 20 strokes


Countries that carry the death penalty

Mauritania - for Muslim men

Nigeria - northern states that approve Sharia Law

Sudan - after a third conviction

Qatar - for Muslims, for extra-marital sex

Somalia

Iran

Saudi Arabia

Yemen

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Afghanistan - where controlled by Al-Qaeda


What do you do if you are not sure?

If you are unsure about the destination to which you are travelling, you can check the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association website for more information at www.ilga.org/maps-sexual-orientation-laws.

We also recommend checking www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for foreign travel advice.


To find out more information, visit www.outlife.org.uk/Pages/Category/rights.


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