Recognizing LGBTIQ+ equality champions: UNDP and ILGA World launch the International Pride Awards

Global initiative celebrates heroes driving positive change and advancing equality

May 17, 2024

Across the globe, courageous and visionary advocates are working to advance LGBTIQ+ equality. The International Pride Awards aims to shine a light on their remarkable contributions.

Unsplash/Mercedes Mehling

Embracing the spirit of diversity and inclusion, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ILGA World (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) proudly announce the launch of the International Pride Awards. This ground-breaking initiative aims to recognize and celebrate the remarkable contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) equality heroes around the world.

All countries should promote and protect the human rights of all persons without discrimination and are obligated to do so by international law. Despite this, many millions of LGBTIQ+ people continue to suffer discrimination, marginalization, poverty, violence, incarceration and even loss of life solely because of who they are. In 62 countries, consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults in private are criminalized, with 7 of these countries imposing the death penalty for such acts (in 5 more, there is no full legal certainty). Only 12 countries provide constitutional protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, 5 based on gender identity, just 1 on gender expression, and none on the grounds of sex characteristics. (For more information visit the ILGA World Database)

Nevertheless, across the globe there are courageous and visionary advocates for equality who are effecting positive change – through ground-breaking initiatives – and often at great risk to themselves. The International Pride Awards seeks to shine a light on their work, tell their stories and inspire more people to advocate for equality.

Nominations for the inaugural International Pride Awards will be open from 1 June for the whole of June - inviting members of the public to nominate individuals whose tireless efforts have made a significant impact in advancing equality and inclusion of the LGBTIQ+ community.

The 2024 award categories are: 

  1. Movement building in the face of hostility
  2. Celebrating diverse lives
  3. Emerging leader
  4. Lifelong pursuit of equality
  5. Extraordinary ally

This year’s awardees will be announced at an event on 13 November 2024 in Cape Town, South Africa, in a special event during the 31st ILGA World Conference. The ceremony will bring together global leaders, activists and advocates to honour the resilience and achievements of LGBTIQ+ equality champions from diverse backgrounds and regions. Awardees will be selected by an Awards Committee, made up of 11 highly experienced LGBTIQ+ campaigners, advocates, academics and non-governmental organization and civil society leaders.

"We are thrilled to be working with ILGA World in launching the International Pride Awards," said Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of the HIV and Health Group at UNDP. "At a time when we are witnessing a backlash against LGBTIQ+ people and human rights in many countries that threatens progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and the pledge to leave no one behind, it is crucial to recognize and celebrate individuals who have dedicated themselves to creating a more inclusive and just world for all."

The International Pride Awards represent a landmark opportunity to highlight the often-overlooked contributions of LGBTIQ+ activists and allies.

"We are proud to come together with UNDP in honouring the courageous individuals who are paving the way for progress and change for everyone", said Julia Ehrt, Executive Director of ILGA World. "Through the International Pride Awards, we hope to amplify the voices of LGBTIQ+ communities worldwide and reaffirm our commitment to building a future where everyone can live in equality and freedom, and can thrive without fear of discrimination."

As the world comes together to celebrate Pride Month in June, the International Pride Awards offer a powerful reminder of the ongoing work needed to create a more inclusive and equitable society. Together, let us recognize and celebrate the resilience, courage, and achievements of LGBTIQ+ equality heroes around the globe.

For more information, including how to nominate, please visit the International Pride Awards website


Media Contacts:

Daniele Paletta | Communications Manager at ILGA World |

Ian Mungall | Programme Analyst (Communications and Knowledge Management) at UNDP |


ILGA World – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association – is a worldwide federation of more than 2,000 organizations from over 170 countries and territories campaigning for the human rights of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at or follow at @UNDP.