Aggression against Ukraine and protection of LGBTI people and refugees: Statement by the Equal Rights Coalition

The Equal Rights Coalition strongly condemns the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, with the participation of Belarus, seriously violates international law. Its humanitarian consequences are on a scale that the international community has not seen in Europe for decades. The Equal Rights Coalition is appalled by the aggression against one of its member states and expresses its solidarity with the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people. The Equal Rights Coalition aligns with United Nations General Assembly resolutions A/ES-11/L.1 and A/RES/ES-11/2 and resolution A/HRC/49 /L1 of the Human Rights Council.

As the aggression against Ukraine escalates, it is seriously affecting the LGBTI community in Ukraine and neighboring countries. As the UN Independent Expert on protection from violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity noted in his March 22 statement, there is deeply concerning evidence of the additional dangers faced by LGBTI people seeking protection during this period.

Those who identify or are perceived as LGBTI are vulnerable to acts of stigmatization, harassment and violence from combatants and civilians. The Equal Rights Coalition calls on all actors to protect the safety, dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people fleeing conflict and violence, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or their sex characteristics.

In this context, it is essential that all stakeholders working on the protection of forcibly displaced persons recognize and respond to the exposure to risks and the protection needs of LGBTI refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and illegal immigrant. As noted by the UN Independent Expert, in armed conflict, LGBTI IDPs are often marginalized or excluded from established evacuation and emergency response services and processes.

Civil society organizations serving LGBTI displaced persons already have expert knowledge of how sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics create specific risk exposures during conflict, and know how to respond to these risks and needs accordingly. The Equal Rights Coalition affirms its commitment to pay attention to the vulnerability and protection needs of LGBTI people who have been forcibly displaced, and will continue to engage with civil society on how best to support rights defenders human beings and Ukrainian LGBTI communities.

The Coalition recalls its unwavering support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and the urgent need for protection of LGBTI people in these unprecedented times.

Members of the Equal Rights Coalition who are co-signatories to this statement:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Cyprus
  • Czech republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Ecuador
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Luxemburg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Swiss
  • The Netherlands
  • UK
  • United States
  • Uruguay

About Sandra A. Powell

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