ILGA Discussion at Liveable Lives Conference
ILGA Discussion at Liveable Lives Conference

Making Liveable Lives: Is Sexual and Gender Legislative Equality Enough?

October 7th-8th 2016,

University of Brighton, UK.

To register for this event, visit the University of Brighton's website at


Evidence Not Anecdote - Aengus Carroll, ILGA


Increasingly, in nearly all countries across the globe in order to make our lives more liveable, SOGIESC (sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics)-related realities are mapped against a rights framework that provides the basis for many of our claims at national and international levels. At the United Nations, Latin America’s leadership regarding SOGI challenges the idea that such liberations are still Western constructions being imposed on Global South or East States. A central question across nations is what commitment and capacity exists in our communities to ensure actual representation of all the sub-groups be they under the LGBTIQ acronym or with indigenous identity markers. Documentation and evidence are essential to those representations, and therefore data matters. In this light, this short talk will first discuss some of the purposes and limits in ILGA mapping comparative data and how that relates to real life situations in countries. It will then discuss a new initiative, a global LGBTI Inclusion Index, driven by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that seeks to produce “progress” in terms of demonstrable impacts on the lives of LGBTI people across the globe in the period 2015-2030.


Since returning to Ireland in 1994 after a first formative decade in queer life under Thatcher (and friends) in the UK, I have been active in grassroots advocacy and community organizing. As a volunteer, then a freelancer, I edited, produced and wrote materials for LGBT, HIV and other human rights groups and organisations. Since 2006, my work has been pretty exclusively on regional and international sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) human rights-related documents and projects. Currently, I am author of State Sponsored Homophobia (which is an annual world survey of sexual orientation-related law), published by the Geneva-based International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA), for whom I am a consultant. I am also ILGA’s representative on a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative aimed at developing an index to measure LGBTI inclusion in various categories across the world. My specific area of academic interest is around the UN Human Rights Council’s mechanism, the UPR or Universal Periodic Review, that provides unique dialogic space for local SOGIE advocates to articulate the fusion of their specific culture and the universal principles encoded in the human rights framework.