A recently updated travel index has revealed the safest and most dangerous destinations for LGBTQ travelers around the world. With international travel finally returning towards normality once more, travelers are keen to make sure that their long-awaited trips abroad are as safe as possible – and this new travel index goes some way towards making sure that prospective travel destinations are both safe and welcoming for LGBTQ travelers.
Whilst travelers have always shared collective worries related to international travel, such as crime, safety and health, the safety of LGBTQ travelers abroad also deseves its space in the spotlight – and this index paints a clear picture of which destinations must do better. Here’s a look at how the LGBTQ safety index was created, which countries it deems safe for travel this year – and which countries travelers should avoid.
LGBTQ-Friendly Destinations Revealed – Information For Travelers
The LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index was compiled not through anecdotal tales or hearsay, bur through hours spent painstakingly reviewing the LGBTQ policies of each country included in the list. More than 203 countries were assessed and included in the index, and each country was assigned a letter grade that represents the level of danger LGBTQ travelers may face in that country.
Each of the countries on the index was assessed according to the following ten metrics:
- Legalized same-sex marriage
- Worker protections
- Protection against discrimination
- Criminalization of violence
- Adoption recognition
- Is it a good place to live?
- Transgender legal identity laws
- Trans murder rates
- Illegal same-sex relationships
- Propaganda/morality laws
As well as a letter grade, each country was given an index score that helps travelers to see which countries are to be avoided.
According to the index, the most dangerous country for LGBTQ travelers to visit is Brunei. Located in Southeast Asia, Brunei still carries the death penalty for those who engage in homosexual acts, and has the worst index score of -200. Shockingly, it isn’t alone, with countries such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates all wielding the power to put travelers to death for homosexual activity.
The index lists Canada as the safest country for LGBTQ travelers to visit. With an index score of 383 and a danger rating of only A, LGBTQ travelers have little to worry about when it comes to visiting the Great White North with various different rights protected for LGBTQ travelers and violence treated as hate crimes. The rest of the top 10 safest countries for LGBTQ travelers contained Sweden, Netherlands, Malta, Portugal, UK, Spain, Norway, Belgium and France.
Unfortunately, many destinations that are historically popular with US travelers performed poorly in the index. Popular Southeast Asian hotspots such as Malaysia and Singapore extremely poorly, with gender expression criminalised in Malaysia and homosexuality punishable by lashes and same sex relationships against the law in Singapore. Various countries in the Caribbean also ranked poorly, including Jamaica, Barbados and Saint Lucia.
Other popular destinations, such as Mexico and Thailand, performed slightly better on the list, being placed 50th and 60th and with safety ratings at C and C- respectively, but have significant room for improvement if they are to be considered truly safer for LGBTQ travelers. For reference, the United States came 24th on the list. With travel expected to boom once again this summer, the index could prove a valuable resource for travelers deciding on where to visit next.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories