A new index has been released to help LGBTI people on their travels by highlighting the safest and dangerous nations in the world.
According to the 2019 list which rates 150 nations, Nigeria is the most dangerous nation to travel to, while Sweden is rated as the safest place to travel for LGBTI people.
The creators of the list, American researchers and couple, Asher and Lyric Fergusson say the list was created by looking at “LGBTQ+ rights, country by country … Instead of relying on hearsay and anecdotes from other travellers.”
The couple added that the data was gathered from a “variety of trusted international sources to create an LGBTQ+ Danger Index” with the aim of helping LGBTI travellers find “the worst (and safest) countries for LGBTQ+ travel.”
The ranking is based on eight factors such as legalisation of same-sex marriage, LGBTQ+ worker protections, adoption recognition, hate crime legislation and criminalisation of same-sex relationships.
“These issues can affect everything, from your ability to show public displays of affection to being able to share a hotel room bed to the capacity at which you can use dating apps without being caught by the local police,” said the researchers.
“A few items on our list, such as adoption recognition and worker protections may not affect LGBTQ+ travellers directly, but these factors are a good indication of overall attitudes within the culture.”
While the index is useful the creators add that it may not necessarily fully accurately reflect the real danger facing LGBTI travellers by, for example, the index does not include a country’s general rate of crime or violence.
The researchers also acknowledged that certain cities, tourist areas or resorts can sometimes be LGBTI+ friendly even when the laws of the country as a whole are very anti-LGBTQ+.
Travellers are urged to check up-to-date news and “if you feel apprehensive, consider travelling to a more LGBTI friendly country.”
New Zealand is ranked 12th best country to visit while Australia is listed at 17 on the “safe” list.