LGBTQI+ refugees in Canada
The lives of millions of #LGBTQI people around the world are placed at risk daily because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, which make them victims of discrimination, persecution, and violence. If these people are refugees, we must add to the challenges and issues arising from their being part of the LGBTQI community due to their precarious status and condition.
According to 2019 data, 1 in 3 newcomers migrated to #Canada due to fear of persecution related to their gender identity. Even if Canada provided around 30 vulnerable refugees with the opportunity to build a new life for themselves and their families, and even if for 20 years, the country has granted refugee protection to people who face persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, it is essential to underline that the process of obtaining refugee status is still quite complex and constantly changing. Moreover, there are no guarantees of success; about half of LGBTQI refugee claimants are unsuccessful and may be sent back to their home country.
It is also true that organizations can provide support and practical resources to refugees to make their challenges and refugee claims a bit easier. Among these, we find Rainbow Refugees, founded in 2000 and since then active in promoting safe, equitable migration and communities of belonging for people fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation, #gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status. Even if in Canada it is illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity is covered in some legislation, it is not fully protected, and newcomers may find life extremely challenging even after a successful refugee claim because of the barriers to finding housing, going to school, obtaining recognition of educational or professional accreditation or finding work.
That is why organisations like Rainbow Refugees must keep providing support, information, and legal aid to LGBTQI refugees to help them protect their rights.