Fact Sheet: Global Equality Fund

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

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Protecting universal human rights is at the very heart of our diplomacy, and we remain committed to advancing human rights for all, including LGBT individuals…As Secretary, I join with my colleagues at our embassies, consulates, and USAID missions around the world in saying, no matter where you are, and no matter who you love, we stand with you…Through the Global Equality Fund, the State Department has already provided critical emergency and long-term assistance to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons in over twenty-five countries. And our support will continue to grow, in cooperation with other equality-minded governments, foundations, and corporations. – Secretary John F. Kerry

The Department continues to pursue partnerships with foreign governments, foundations, and corporations in this important effort. Current Partners of the Fund include: Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the Arcus Foundation, the John D. Evans Foundation, LLH: the Norwegian LGBT Organization, the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund, Deloitte LLP, Out Leadership, and USAID.

Mechanisms of Assistance

Civil society organizations access funds through:

  • Requests for Proposals: The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor conducts open competitions for proposals based on the bureau’s program areas and target countries and regions.
  • Small Grants: Leveraging the global reach of U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, the Fund supports local civil society organizations with direct small grants to undertake short term projects.


Programming Areas

  • Emergency funding for advocates, civil society organizations, and LGBT people;
  • Technical assistance in the areas of human rights documentation and legal assistance;
  • Institutional capacity building and development;
  • Protection from violence;
  • Combating societal discrimination.

“Dignity for All”

“Dignity for All,” the Fund’s rapid response mechanism, provides emergency and preventative assistance to civil society organizations under physical threat or unable to operate freely without serious harassment due to their work related to advance the human rights of LGBT persons. Implemented by a global consortium of organizations, “Dignity for All” enhances the capacity of organizations to respond to security concerns and enables advocates to respond quickly to events signaling a human rights backsliding. Support includes emergency assistance to civil society groups and victims of abuse, small grants for advocacy initiatives, and assistance to enable advocates to develop long-term security plans.

Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

The Fund builds long-term capacity through programs providing technical assistance to local and national civil society organizations. In sub-Saharan Africa, programs focus on strengthening the skills and knowledge of local organizations to systematically document human rights violations targeting LGBT persons. In the Americas, programs support local and regional law reform efforts to increase legal protection for LGBT persons. The Fund supports groups globally including in the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.

Partners Committee

Comprised of Fund contributors, the Partners Committee discusses priority programming areas and goals, reviews activities of the Fund, identifies future donors for the Department of State to consider for Fund solicitation, and raises international awareness about the Fund.

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