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Solidarity in Pride: On the Ground in Jamaica

Solidarity in Pride: On the Ground in Jamaica Solidarity in Pride: On the Ground in Jamaica

In 2023 so far, Rainbow Railroad has received 117 requests for help from Jamaica. Members of the LGBTQI+ community in Jamaica experience persistent discrimination and violence on the basis of their identities. 

Earlier this year, Rainbow Railroad staff traveled to Jamaica to meet with partner organizations we work with on the ground. This video diary captures the experience of this trip, and the vital work of partners we continue to support. 

In Jamaica, homophobic laws remain in force and there is no protection from discrimination for the LGBTQI+ community. In particular, “buggery” laws, or colonial-era laws criminalizing men having consensual sex with other men, carry penalties of imprisonment and hard labor. And despite it being legal for women to engage in same-sex intimacy, LGBTQI+ women are often the target of violence. Rainbow Railroad has been active in Jamaica since 2006, and since then has received more than 2000 requests for help. 

While over two years have passed since a landmark decision from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) urging the Jamaican government to repeal the country’s homophobic laws, Jamaica has resolutely failed to comply with a single recommendation made by the Commission. 

This Pride, we stand in solidarity with those who continue to endure discrimination, persecution, and violence for their identities. 


In February of this year, Rainbow Railroad released a joint report alongside Human Dignity Trust documenting the violence, harassment and discrimination faced by LGBTQI+ people in Jamaica over the last two years. You can read this report, A Caribbean Outlier: Repeal anti-LGBTQI+ laws in Jamaica, here.