Intersecting issues which must be addressed to provide comprehensive protection for the LBTI Women and Girls
These groups experience all of the age-related specific needs as listed above. Additionally, they suffer from extreme marginalisation, discrimination, shaming and exclusion. Many are thrown out of their families and communities. Some are forced by their families to marry, others choose to hide their sexuality as a survival mechanism. Many NGOs have little understanding or tolerance for these groups. In all cases, this takes an enormous toll on mental health and suicide rates in these communities are high. They are often excluded from services available to other women, such as education, training and even health care and there are few services specifically for these communities. In terms of durable solutions, the disadvantages caused by marginalisation, plus knowledge of their gender identity often exclude them from consideration for specific programs. Few resettlement countries recognise or prioritise ‘membership of a particular social group’, in this case, LBTI communities, as a reason for consideration for resettlement. Return to a country of origin where their gender identity was known is dangerous and could lead to imprisonment or death.
Example pledge to effectively address the needs of LBTI Women and Girls
Member States and other stakeholders could include all or some of the following language in pledges to address the need of this group.
We X State, X Stakeholder commit to ensuring that members of all LBTI communities are provided with protection services. As these groups also suffer from the same discrimination as all other diverse groups, steps will be taken to make all service provision LBTI sensitive and accessible. Given this will not be an easy task, Safe Spaces will be established for members of the LBTI communities. These will include specialist counselling and support services, safe accommodation, sensitive medical assistance for victims of sexual assault, and recreational facilities. LBTI women who have been raped and borne children of rape will be provided with specialist support. Community awareness campaigns will be conducted to addressing shaming and marginalisation. Programs will be put in place to make schools LBTI friendly spaces. Members of these communities will be included in community consultations and decision-making processes. Training and livelihood training and access to employment will be provided to these groups, separately if necessary and steps will be taken to integrate community members into wider services for women and girls. Members of these communities will be referred to those resettlement countries that accept members of the LBTI communities for consideration. No one shall be refouled to countries where their gender identity is likely to result in imprisonment, severe discrimination or death.