Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons in forced displacement experience compounding protection challenges and distinct vulnerabilities. Threats against LGBTI persons occur in all refugee situations, including cultural shame and stigma, life-threatening discrimination, physical violence, sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, prejudice from officials, humanitarian staff and/or refugee populations.
In the past year, we’ve seen a reinvigorated commitment of the world to improve the refugee protection regime. It has manifested itself in the New York Declaration and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) that are intended to be a paradigm shift in our treatment of refugees.
I have been privileged to be a part of the gender audit team working to ensure that the final text of the Global Compact on Refugees is gender sensitive. Using my personal and professional experience, I’ve been advocating for the inclusion and recognition of diversity into the GCR.
I remember when a year ago I submitted my research proposal to work with the group of queer refugee women, I was still fearful inside that I would not be able to find enough women who would want to participate. I never doubted that my research was important and it would make a difference. Yet, at that time when we’ve been in Australia for almost 5 years, I only knew a few more persons in addition to me and my partner.