About The Commonwealth Equality Network

The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) is the first civil society network to sustainably advocate on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and gender-diverse (LGBTI+) people in the Commonwealth.

Founded by nine organisations in 2013 in order to use collective action to catalyse the meaningful change needed to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics (SOGIESC), TCEN now has 56 members representing 52 countries from all five Commonwealth regions. The network strives to remove legal, political, social, economic and cultural barriers to equality at national level within the Commonwealth and to achieve a Commonwealth where all LGBTI+ persons are free from discrimination and violence, including criminalisation on the basis of SOGIESC, through collective advocacy, research, resource mobilisation and capacity strengthening.

In June 2017, TCEN was accredited to the Commonwealth, the first LGBTI+-focused organisation to ever receive this official status. Since its foundation, TCEN has focused on leveraging Commonwealth spaces to raise the profile and normalise the discussion of LGBT+ people, rights and concerns and to engage with national-level decisionmakers and policymakers who would not otherwise be accessible to LGBT+ civil society activists.

TCEN SNAPSHOT

TCEN’s membership is made up of 56 organisations representing 52 Commonwealth countries.

Americas: Antigua, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

Europe: Cyprus, Malta, United Kingdom

Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, eSwatini, Uganda, Zambia

Asia: Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka

Pacific: Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

About The Consultation

Following a rapid-response call on 7 April among TCEN members about COVID-19’s impact on our work, our communities and ourselves, it was agreed that a member-wide consultation was needed to better understand what it is to be LGBTI+ in the Commonwealth during this difficult time. This information will enable us to:

  1. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges being faced by TCEN members and LGBTI+ communities in members’ countries

  2. Begin to gather good and best practices on solutions to those different challenges, and

  3. Understand how members wish to organise collectively