May 17 has been the single most important date for LGBTQI communities and allies to mobilize on a global scale in support of equality and inclusion. This is the fourth consecutive ADB commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOTB) and the sixth consecutive for the World Bank Group (WBG). This year’s global theme for IDAHOTB is Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights. LGBTQI people have made tremendous progress globally in claiming rights and promoting inclusive societies. However, they continue to face immense challenges and barriers, including legal barriers, which hinder their participation in society. Currently, 69 countries globally (including 19 ADB Developing Member Countries) criminalize homosexuality or some forms of gender identity. Further, some governments are using the response to COVID-19 to roll back rights of vulnerable populations, including specifically targeting LGBTQI people.

First launched by WBG in September 2021, the Equality of Opportunity for Sexual and Gender Minorities (EQOSOGI) report is a first-of-its-kind analysis of laws and regulations that affect the lives of sexual and gender minorities. EQOSOGI assesses LGBTQI-related laws and regulations in 16 geographically and socioeconomically diverse countries. The report covers six thematic domains to identify differences in the legal treatment of sexual and gender minorities, including criminalization, political and civil inclusion, protection from hate crimes, access to inclusive education, the labor market, and social protection.

The next steps in the expansion of the EQOSOGI initiative include a partnership between ADB and WBG which will be formally announced during IDAHOTB. ADB will lead on a 14-country report that will focus on the Asia-Pacific region. The ADB and WBG will use the data from the ADB report, collect data for a new set of countries (tentatively 30 new countries), and update the data from the original 16 countries to produce a joint report that will also feature economic analysis and correlations of SOGI inclusive legal frameworks with economic indicators.


  • To announce the partnership between the ADB and the World Bank on expanding the Equality of Opportunities for Sexual and Gender Minorities (EQOSOGI) initiative.
  • To share knowledge from LGBTQI community members2 and CSOs, academics and the legal profession, who are advocating for inclusive laws and policies, and expanding civic space for sexual and gender minorities in the global south.

Target participants

Government representatives, multilateral development bank staff, civil society

Resource speakers

  • Kenichi Yokoyama, Director General, South Asia Department, ADB
  • Manuela Ferro, Regional Vice President, East Asia and Pacific, World Bank Group (WBG)
  • Mamikon Hovsepyan, Pink Armenia, Armenia
  • Yara Kong, Micro Rainbow International Foundation, Cambodia
  • Anri Abuladze, Tblisi Pride, Georgia  
  • Representatives from:
    • Bandhu Social Welfare Society, Bangladesh
    • Pride Bhutan, Bhutan
    • Mitini Nepal, Nepal
    • Kaushal Ranasinghe, community advocate, Sri Lanka

How to register

Register now to join the event. 

Event organizers / partners

NGO and Civil Society Center of ADB

Event Contact