June 21, 2023

Breaking Barriers: Canada and Rainbow Railroad Launch First LGBTQIA+-Specific Refugee Program

Rainbow Railroad has announced a ground-breaking partnership with the Government of Canada to help more LGBTQIA+ refugees find safety and resettle in Canada. This historic collaboration involves the Government-Assisted Refugees Program and allows Rainbow Railroad to refer at-risk LGBTQIA+ individuals directly for resettlement in Canada. It is the first LGBTQIA+-specific refugee program of its kind, marking an important milestone in international efforts to support LGBTQIA+ refugees.

As the number of displaced LGBTQIA+ people worldwide continues to rise, Rainbow Railroad has received over 4,100 requests for assistance in 2023 alone, averaging around 10,000 annually. However, many individuals still await help due to a lack of government partnerships. Rainbow Railroad has long advocated for direct referral partnerships with governments and is thrilled that Canada has taken the lead. This partnership builds on their previous collaborations and demonstrates the Canadian government's commitment to supporting LGBTQIA+ individuals seeking refuge. Rainbow Railroad emphasizes that their work relies on the support of their community, donors, and partners, both locally and globally, as well as the resilience and courage of those who choose to leave their homes in search of safety. More information about this significant development and the pathway it offers for LGBTQIA+ refugees will be shared as the program further develops.