The most dangerous countries for LGBT+ travellers

New index ranks Nigeria as most dangerous

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 18 December 2019 13:00 GMT
LGBTQ travel map shows the safest and most dangerous countries
LGBTQ travel map shows the safest and most dangerous countries

Nigeria is the most dangerous country to visit for LGBT+ travellers, according to a new ranking.

The LGBTQ+ Danger Index, compiled by travel safety blog Asher and Lyric, scored the top 150 most-visited countries in the world across various criteria, including whether same-sex relationships are criminalised, whether same-sex marriage is legal, and whether there are protections against discrimination.

Nigeria came bottom due to its criminalisation of homosexuality, which is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment or death. It is also illegal to discuss LGBT+ rights there.

It was followed by Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania, all of which criminalise homosexuality.

Punishments vary from the death penalty and 100 lashes to flogging and jail time.

LGBTQ travel map shows the safest and most dangerous countries

At the other end of the spectrum, Sweden topped the ranking as the safest country for LBGT+ travellers, thanks to the legalisation of gay marriage, the criminalisation of hate crimes against the LGBT+ community, and its solid constitutional protections for citizens’ rights.

Not far behind were Canada, Norway, Portugal and Belgium.

The UK just missed out on a place in the top five, coming in sixth place.

The index notes that “certain cities, tourist areas or resorts can sometimes be LGBTQ+ friendly even when the laws of the country as a whole are very anti-LGBTQ+”. It advises travellers to research in advance and check official government data before booking a trip.

Asher and Lyric said of the ranking: “LGBTQ+ travel safety varies a great deal, from relative comfort to the real possibility of danger.

“We looked at the specific legal status of rights abroad as well as polling information to create our LGBTQ+ travel index, but the on-the-street experience can be much more nuanced.

“Because anti-LGBTQ+ crime and harassment is rarely reported, especially not on an international scale, it’s hard to find data to inform travellers of what walking the streets might be like.

“Beyond our list, ask other queer people and allies there before you go. Make an online friend, do your research, and take your time.”

10 most dangerous countries for LGBT+ travellers

  1. Nigeria
  2. Qatar 
  3. Yemen 
  4. Saudi Arabia 
  5. Tanzania
  6. Iran
  7. Sudan
  8. Barbados
  9. Malaysia
  10. Malawi

10 safest countries for LGBT+ travellers

  1. Sweden
  2. Canada
  3. Norway
  4. Portugal
  5. Belgium
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Finland
  8. France
  9. Iceland
  10. Spain

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