It’s been more than a month since Putin invaded Ukraine. At ILGA-Europe we are identifying the multiple and multi-layered needs across the region prompted by the war within the LGBTI communities in Ukraine, Russia and neighbouring countries like Poland, Romania, Belarus, Moldova or Hungary.
Who needs what?
There are LGBTI people, communities and groups in Ukraine who’ve chosen to stay or who cannot leave in need of safe shelters and access to medications. With over 3.8 million refugees and counting, LGBTI people who’ve left the country also need safe spaces and people who support them, as hosting countries often lack infrastructure. Finally, there are also complex needs of those who are in Russia, or who’ve left Russia.
The mobilisation of LGBTI groups
“The light in all this is seeing how people are rallying to be there for each other,” says Evelyne Paradis, our Executive Director, in the latest episode of our podcast, The Frontline.
At the moment, there is an extraordinary mobilisation of the LGBTI movement. Starting with activists and groups who’ve chosen to stay in Ukraine and be there for their communities, to those in Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Moldova and more, who have been under a lot of pressure in recent years in their own countries, and who since the beginning of the war have been getting ready for the LGBTI refugees who will keep arriving.
Listen to our podcast episode on the situation in Ukraine:
Information, Action, Direction
ILGA-Europe has developed a three-part package to support LGBTI people who are and will be affected by the war. Efforts to help are complex and will become more so as time goes on, thus we will keep adapting our work to reflect the developing situation for LGBTI people. Our central working principle 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: Providing 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.
ACTION: Identifying key actions to do our part to ensure the protection and support of LGBTI people and communities affected by the war.
DIRECTION: Providing 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.