The impact of Covid-19 on LGBT+ individuals in Indonesia, Nigeria and Sri Lanka

The impact of Covid-19 on LGBT+ individuals in Indonesia, Nigeria and Sri Lanka

To inform the work of the second phase of the Global Equality Project (GEP II), implemented in partnership with Kaleidoscope Trust, this report explores the impact of Covid-19 on LGBT+ activists in Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. As the most impactful global health disaster the world has faced since World War II, the research aimed to assess the extraordinary impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable LGBT+ individuals. The countries were selected to comparatively illustrate cases in Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia due to their distinct social, cultural, and legislative contexts.
front cover of research paper on blue background

Diego Garcia Rodriguez


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of people all around the world. While the disease and its variants have been virologically homogeneous, its cultural and social impact have differed across geographical locations due to varying socioeconomic profiles and changing reactions to the crisis among decision-makers.

From older people to individuals living with disabilities and those who have traditionally experienced intolerance and discrimination, the pandemic brought an additional layer of helplessness. Among these groups, LGBT+ individuals have disproportionately suffered the consequences of lockdowns and restrictive regulations. For many, this meant returning to homes where they did not feel safe, or having their medical treatments and services interrupted because of the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The extraordinary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBT+ individuals further emphasises the need to end discrimination against this population. The three focus countries, Indonesia, Nigeria and Sri Lanka, have international human rights obligations that apply equally to LGBT+ people and provide a clear road map towards the protection and fulfilment of those rights for all.

WFD commissioned this comparative research to inform the work of policymakers towards achieving and strengthening LGBT+ rights, focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBT+ individuals.