#UkraineLGBTI: Information, Action, Direction
At ILGA-Europe we recognise that the war is not going to be a short-term situation for vulnerable people in Ukraine, Russia, neighbouring countries, and all countries in Europe and Central Asia that are and will be hosting displaced people. With our deep and nuanced knowledge of the human rights situation for LGBTI people across Europe and Central Asia, we know that there will be great complexity and particular vulnerabilities in the experience of LGBTI refugees, and of those LGBTI people who are either forced, or choose to remain in Ukraine and Russia.
We recognise that efforts to help are complex and will become more so as time goes on. Our work as well constantly needs to adapt and reflect the developing situation for LGBTI people. Our central working principle, for, with and on behalf of LGBTI activists and organisations in Ukraine, Russia and other affected countries, in the short, medium and longer term, is to connect and mobilise people, institutions and resources to strengthen and reinforce the work happening on the ground. We are working to make it as effective as possible on three core levels: Information, Action and Direction.
We will be adding resources to each of these areas below in the coming time, and you can listen to a special episode of our podcast here, where we discuss this ongoing response.
Our goal is to provide information about what is currently happening for LGBTI people, both staying in Ukraine and Russia, or who are leaving or have left, and what their needs are.
We are publishing a weekly update, telling the story as it unfolds for LGBTI people caught up in the conflict, from the perspective gained at ILGA-Europe
- Blog (17 May 2022): Keeping LGBTI people safe as the war in Ukraine continues
- Blog (28 April 2022): #LesbianVisibilityWeek: The situation for lesbian women in and from Ukraine
- Blog (15 April 2022): #UkraineLGBTI Update: LGBTI shelters need urgent support, medication continues to be a major issue and more
- Blog (31 March 2022): Trans Day of Visibility 2022: Here’s what you absolutely should know about trans communities from Ukraine
- Blog (28 March 2022): ‘#UkraineLGBTI: Information, Action, Direction’ as the LGBTI movement rallies to support vulnerable communities impacted by the war
- Blog (4 March 2022): A Marathon, Not a Sprint: How We’re Responding to the Invasion of Ukraine
Identifying Rising Issues and Related Advocacy
We are connecting with activists on the ground to identify, assess and document specific needs and vulnerabilities that are arising for LGBTI people caught up in the conflict. We are advocating with relevant institutions, governments and organisations to address these needs in their response to the war in Ukraine.
- Briefing Document (March 2022): Medications Needed by Trans and Intersex People
- Briefing Document (March 2022): Ukraine War: LGBTI People in the Context of Armed Conflict and Mass Displacement
- Briefing Document (April 2022): Ukraine war: Temporary protection and LGBTI people in EU member states
- Briefing Document (May 2022) Integrating LGBTI inclusive Gender Based Violence risk prevention, reduction and mitigation in the context of war in Ukraine
Providing Information for LGBTI People Seeking Refuge
With our partner and member organisations we are researching and providing information specifically relating to the rights and support for LGBTI refugees in host countries in Europe and Central Asia. We are also mapping the access to healthcare pathway and working to address waiting times for trans and intersex people arriving and needing continuing healthcare
We will be regularly updating information available on how to seek safety and refugees and asylum status for all LGBTI people fleeing the war, including non-Ukrainian nationals, and those from Russian and Belarus.
- If you are in an EU country, here's a summary of your rights under the Temporary Protection Directive. Here’s also specific country guidance for people coming from Ukraine prepared by PILnet.
- If you are in the UK, here’s information about the Homes for Ukraine Scheme
- Contacts if you are an LGBTI person fleeing Ukraine
- You are a trans person from Ukraine and need help?
- Information on what’s available in different EU countries:
- Spain, in the Ministerial Decree of 1 April, has adopted specific measures to protect, care and assist LGBTI refugees.
Providing Information Related to Humanitarian Aid
We are identifying and providing information we know at this moment that people can ask for in terms of humanitarian aid. We are also connecting with medical and pharmaceutical organisations to quickly and legally address shortages and stockouts of medicines, and to ensure that needed medicines are making it into Ukraine.
Access to medication:
- Alliance for Public Health is providing resources and information on access to Opioid Substitute Treatment (OST) and Antirretroviral (ARV) treatments.
Our goal is to identify key actions to do our part to ensure the protection and support of LGBTI people and communities affected by the war. Currently we are:
Providing direct financial support
ILGA-Europe is a member of the Dignity for All consortium, which provides emergency funds, advocacy support, and security assistance to human rights defenders and civil society organisations under threat or attack due to their work on human rights and equality for LGBTI people. To find out more please email us here.
We are providing support for organisations welcoming LGBTI refugees in neighbouring countries.
Working with funding institutions
We are working directly with funding institutions to connect needs with new resources, mobilising resources, and bringing LGBTI needs to the attention of funders.
Mapping, connecting and coordinating
We are mapping, connecting and playing a coordinating role between LGBTI organisations working directly with LGBTI people in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries, especially on support for refugee resettlement and access to medication.
Advocating for inclusive humanitarian responses
While emergency situations make everyone vulnerable and deprived, existing discrimination and violence against LGBTI people can put them at heightened risks to be left in the blind spot of international protection and humanitarian relief programmes. We are working to connect humanitarian aid providers with LGBTI organisations to ensure humanitarian aid actors are aware of specific needs of LGBTI people, but also that they are able to connect and transfer LGBTI people to the support offered by LGBTI organisations in the Ukraine and in countries where refugees arrive.
Our goal is to provide guidance and direction to everyone in our membership, the LGBTI wider movement, our allies and beyond who want to play their part in supporting all LGBTI people affected by the war.
Directing funding to the right places
We are in contact with activists and other organisations working to support LGBTI communities in Ukraine and those fleeing, to better understand the needs and see what kind of support may be helpful. The situation on the ground is changing rapidly, and we will provide information on how best to support when appropriate.
- To access up to date funding information click here.
Supporting organisational mental health
While many LGBTI activist organisations have been swift to respond to the arising needs of their communities, both in Ukraine, in neighbouring countries and beyond, there has been little attention paid to the emotional and psychological fall-out from their work at this incredibly fraught time. In our work at ILGA-Europe, we are seeing:
- Guidance for addressing needs of LGBTI refugees - coming soon
- What to talk to the media about - coming soon