If you’re lesbian or gay and travelling abroad, it’s sensible to check the laws governing sex and sexuality in whichever country you’re visiting. Dozens of countries still imprison LGBTQ+ people, and nine still threaten the death penalty.

The list below shows the maximum sentences carried in each country for homosexuality or homosexual behaviour. Whilst useful as a first indicator of a country's stance, it is no means definitive and tells you very little about the specific laws in each individual location. The different offences resulting in each sentence below may be very different.

We recommend that before travelling anywhere you first check the Foreign Office website, search for the desired country, and look for guidance directed at LGBT+ people in the ‘Local laws and customs’ tab. 

It’s also worth checking guide books and talking to people from the country in question, probably starting with local LGBT+ groups, who can give you a clear idea of how the law is implemented, and what local attitudes are like.

For further information, check the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association website.

Maximum sentences in countries that criminalise homosexuality:





🇸🇱Sierra Leone




20 YEARS: 


17 YEARS: 


15 YEARS: 

🇦🇬Antigua and Barbuda

14 YEARS: 




🇦🇪United Arab Emirates

🇵🇬Papua New Guinea


🇸🇧Solomon Islands



10 YEARS: 

🇸🇸South Sudan





🇰🇳Saint Kitts and Nevis

🇱🇨Saint Lucia

🇱🇰Sri Lanka



🇻🇨Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


























1 YEAR: 






Countries that carry fines for convicted homosexuality:


Countries where a homosexuality conviction caries torture as a punishment:

🇲🇻Maldives - whipping for 20 strokes

Countries that carry the death penalty:

🇲🇷Mauritania - for Muslim men

🇳🇬Nigeria - northern states that approve Sharia Law

🇶🇦Qatar - for Muslims, for extra-marital sex



🇸🇦Saudi Arabia


🇮🇶🇦🇫Islamic State of Iraq and the Levent Afghanistan - where controlled by Al-Qaeda

For further information, check the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association website.

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