Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex (LGBTI) Persons in Forced Displacement

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This resource is relevant for humanitarian practitioners, especially those working with refugees and displaced persons; this handbook focuses on the diverse needs and concerns of diverse SOGIESC refugees and the ways in which race, disability, age and religion intersect with sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics to influence experiences of forced migration.

This guidance note is meant for UNHCR and other staff who come into contact and work with displaced persons. This note provides guidance on working with displaced persons who identify as part of the LGBTI community. The note opens with an overview of the socio-political and economic factors that can propel LGBTI people to flee their homes. The note points to the specific services displaced LGBTI people may need upon arrival or in transit such as safe housing, specific protection included expedited resettlement and appropriate medical care. The note then briefly discusses some of the specific forms of persecution experienced by lesbian women, gay men, bisexual people, transgender persons and intersex individuals; the keys to protection; importance of rights-based protection and inclusive programming; safe identification and registration environments; ensuring physical security; building partnerships with civil society actors; providing access to services; and durable solutions to heightened risks. The guidance note has action items for each subject area.

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LGBTI persons are not a homogenous group. While they may share similar risks and concerns, each person and population has distinct concerns that derive from the intersection of their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics with their gender, age, and other diversity characteristics (such as disability, race, and religion).

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This guidance note is meant for UNHCR and other staff who come into contact and work with displaced persons. This note provides guidance on working with displaced persons who identify as part of the LGBTI community. The note opens with an overview of the socio-political and economic factors that can propel LGBTI people to flee their homes. The note points to the specific services displaced LGBTI people may need upon arrival or in transit such as safe housing, specific protection included expedited resettlement and appropriate medical care. The note then briefly discusses some of the specific forms of persecution experienced by lesbian women, gay men, bisexual people, transgender persons and intersex individuals; the keys to protection; importance of rights-based protection and inclusive programming; safe identification and registration environments; ensuring physical security; building partnerships with civil society actors; providing access to services; and durable solutions to heightened risks. The guidance note has action items for each subject area.