Study reveals most dangerous destinations for LGBTIQ travellers

Parts of Africa and the Middle East have topped a new listing of the most dangerous countries for LGBTIQ travellers.

The study by travel blog Asher & Lyric Fergusson examined factors including rights such as marriage and adoption for LGBTIQ people, protection from violence and discrimination, and whether LGBTIQ locals consider each country a good place to live.

The 150 countries investigated were ranked and assigned a letter grade to reflect their safety.

Dangerous destinations

Nigeria topped the list as the number one most dangerous country, with homosexuality punishable by up to 14 years in prison, or the death penalty in states under Sharia law.

Also among the top ten most dangerous destinations were Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Sudan, Barbados, and Malaysia, all receiving grades of F for their similar laws.

The report noted that many of the homophobic and transphobic laws in non-western countries are remnants from the colonial era, with 47 of the 70 countries criminalising homosexuality having been part of the British Empire.

Image: Asher & Lyric Fergusson.

Safest countries

The safest country was Sweden at number 150, with legal same-sex marriage and adoption, laws for worker protections and against discrimination and hate crimes, and a high liveability rating by residents.

Also in the top ten best countries for LGBTIQ people were Canada, Portugal, Norway, the UK, and Iceland, all receiving an A or A- grade for their liberal laws.

Australia came in at number 134 with a grade of B+ for our currently good legal protections of LGBTIQ people and very high liveability rating.

We lost points for our absence of specific laws against anti-LGBTIQ hate crimes and constitutional protections.

Examining the same features in the future may show still poorer results for Australia if the proposed religious discrimination bill goes ahead, potentially permitting religious people and groups to discriminate against LGBTIQ people and other minorities.

Travel tips

The report included tips for LGBTIQ travellers to stay safe and avoid problems while travelling.

LGBTIQ-friendly businesses in the destination country can be identified before travel.

All travellers are advised to be culturally aware and respect local customs, including being mindful of public displays of affection in places where same-sex relationships are illegal or not accepted.

Travelling with items such as sex toys may be troublesome at airports, especially for trans or gender non-conforming travellers, who are often profiled as sex workers.

Travellers should always carry copies of documents such as passports, but LGBTIQ people should carry extra paperwork like hospital visitation authorisation documents and medical authorisation to carry hormones if applicable, and ensure passport photos match their current appearance.  

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