LGBTI Youth Group-Lebanon

[Resourcel URL]

Go to Resource

[Relevance]

This is relevant to humanitarian practitioners because it provides recommendations for replications. Establishing groups for particularly vulnerable populations such as LGBTI refugee youth is an important part of community building in protracted crises and displacement settings.

In 2015 LGBTI refugee youth living in Lebanon were supported by UNHCR to establish a youth group. The group provides peer-to-peer support for LGBTI youth refugees and their partners through open discussion, life skills development and information on and access to protection, assistance and services relevant to the needs and interests of LGBTI youth refugees. Initially 15 members between the ages of 19-29 joined the group and it has since expanded to 35 members.

This chapter provides an overview of the context in which these youth live and their specific needs (in short, that LGBTI refugees have very high protection needs in employment, shelter and safety and security, and face disproportionate levels of violence, discrimination and abuse), followed by an overview of the process and activities of the youth group. Activities include: regular meetings, information sessions, case management, on-the-job coaching activities, internal capacity building initiatives and more.

Feedback and complaints mechanisms have been established, and FGDs have been conducted to document the impacts of the youth group. Overall, respondents note that the youth group has strengthened case worker managements, group m embers have increased access to livelihood opportunities, increased cross-cultural understanding as the group has grown to include refugees and host community members alike; and UNHCR has built new partnerships with I/NGOs working on LGBTI rights. The greatest challenges were reaching out to LGBTI youth living outside of urban centres and the enforcement of strict confidentiality procedures. The main risks are low participation, lack of legal documentation limiting mobility, risk of detention and discrimination. All risks are associated with one or more mitigating actions. The chapter concludes with recommendations for scaling up or replicating a similar youth group elsewhere.

[Quote]

"Not only do LGBTI refugees in Lebanon face specific challenges to integration, they also experience sexual harassment, assault and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Many LGBTI refugees have been subjected to severe physical violence, necessitating hospitalization or surgery in some cases."

Most Popular Resources

Beginner's Guide

No such thing as neutral: Understanding the implications of COVID-19 for communities with diverse SOGIE in the Global North

This Think Piece is by Kirsty McKellar, one of Edge Effect’s 2020 interns. Kirsty has recently completed her masters of Development Studies...

We deserve human rights: Interview with Emma Yaaka

Emma Yaaka (he/him) is an LGBTIQ+ advocate who has worked to provide medical services and information to LGBTIQ+ refugees in Kenya and...

In 2015 LGBTI refugee youth living in Lebanon were supported by UNHCR to establish a youth group. The group provides peer-to-peer support for LGBTI youth refugees and their partners through open discussion, life skills development and information on and access to protection, assistance and services relevant to the needs and interests of LGBTI youth refugees. Initially 15 members between the ages of 19-29 joined the group and it has since expanded to 35 members.

This chapter provides an overview of the context in which these youth live and their specific needs (in short, that LGBTI refugees have very high protection needs in employment, shelter and safety and security, and face disproportionate levels of violence, discrimination and abuse), followed by an overview of the process and activities of the youth group. Activities include: regular meetings, information sessions, case management, on-the-job coaching activities, internal capacity building initiatives and more.

Feedback and complaints mechanisms have been established, and FGDs have been conducted to document the impacts of the youth group. Overall, respondents note that the youth group has strengthened case worker managements, group m embers have increased access to livelihood opportunities, increased cross-cultural understanding as the group has grown to include refugees and host community members alike; and UNHCR has built new partnerships with I/NGOs working on LGBTI rights. The greatest challenges were reaching out to LGBTI youth living outside of urban centres and the enforcement of strict confidentiality procedures. The main risks are low participation, lack of legal documentation limiting mobility, risk of detention and discrimination. All risks are associated with one or more mitigating actions. The chapter concludes with recommendations for scaling up or replicating a similar youth group elsewhere.