The United Nations has identified LGBTI people as a group specifically affected by the war in Ukraine. Here are its recommendations for humanitarian organisations

Working alongside ILGA-Europe, the UN High Commissioner for Refugee has published recommendations for humanitarian actors working with LGBTI people affected by the war in Ukraine.

Credit: Yura Khomitskyi

Here are the core recommendations:

Ensure inclusive programming, advocacy and responses

  • Collect data that is disaggregated by sex, gender, age and disability as well as data relating to specific protection needs, risks and barriers LGBTI people face.
  • Map presence and reach out to LGBTI organisations to learn about their work.
  • Establish specific LGBTI reception measures, such as gender-neutral options on registration forms or special hours and days for LGBTI people to register.
  • Encourage the active participation of LGBTI individuals in programmes and activities.
  • Link specialised LGBTI centres and shelters to the humanitarian aid system.
  • Include staff from different genders and backgrounds
  • Address barriers for LGBTI people to access social services and programmes
  • Include funding opportunities for LGBTI-led organisation in your resource mobilization actions.
  • Raise awareness of the situation of LGBTI people affected by the war
  • Advocate for non-discriminatory provision of services to LGBTI people by humanitarian actors, civil society organisations, governments and others.

Create safe spaces

  • Ensure that staff working in Ukraine are sensitive to the concerns and needs of LGBTI people.
  • Respect individual preferences and privacy.
  • Communicate through your staff members that your organisation is a safe space
  • Seek out and create safe, confidential and effective referral systems and partnerships.
  • Advocate for inclusive treatment by medical and healthcare professionals
  • Facilitate links between LGBTI people in Ukraine and the wider LGBTI community
  • Allow trans, intersex and non-binary people to choose the housing option, scattered-site housing or communal, they believe is safest for them.

Ensure accountability to the affected population

  • Consult with LGBTI people on how they want to participate
  • Ensure that LGBTI individuals are well informed about their rights
  • Ensure that there is two-way communication with LGBTI people via their preferred channels.
  • Provide a space where LGBTI people can meet safely
  • Engage LGBTI people in gender-based violence prevention and response.

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