Project Factsheet
Tools for » UNA039 UNHCR - Protecting LGBTI Refugees in Lebanon
Project ID:00099541Description:UNA039 UNHCR Protecting LGBTI
UN Action Agst Sexual Violence
Start Date *: 21 Mar 2016
UN Action Against Sexual Viole
End Date*: 31 Dec 2016
Country: United Nations Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   UNHCR - UN High Commissioner for Refug

LGBTI refugees are among the most vulnerable refugees in Beirut/Mount Lebanon area and are particularly at risk of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). Many were subjected to sexual violence in their countries of origin or in Lebanon and/or have been physically assaulted or subjected to emotional violence due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTIs are at risk of arrest in Lebanon since same sex relationships are criminalized under the penal code. In addition, LGBTI are often subjected to an extreme form of social exclusion: many are stigmatized by their own family and the refugee community, in addition to being discriminated by Lebanese community, including LGBTI Lebanese.

LGBTI refugees struggle to cover their basic needs as they are subjected to extreme discrimination on the job market (for being Syrian and LGBTI) and often end up paying higher rents than other refugees (because landlord discriminate against LGBTI). Single gay men in particular feel also discriminated by humanitarian organizations as most of the basic assistance is directed towards families or single female. A number of LGBTI have already started resorting to survival sex as they had no other way to cover their basic needs. 

While LGBTI refugees’ population is mostly composed of gay refugees, there are also a number of lesbian and transgender refugees. Majority are between 20 and 50 years old and most of them are single although some are married, divorced, widowed and a few have children. Most of them are Syrians.

During consultations with LGBTI refugees, they have indicated that the major gap in the current response is the lack of regular cash to cover rent and other basic needs for the most vulnerable LGBTIs. Another gap is the lack of awareness of humanitarian staff in working with LGBTI individuals.

Since the beginning of the response to the Syria crisis UNHCR has supported activities and programmes aiming at preventing and responding SGBV against LGBTI refugees. The proposed intervention aims at continuing and expanding these activities in a sustainable manner. Local services providers will be capacitated to provide support to LGBTI survivors of violence and training will also focus on addressing attitudinal barriers towards them. This will expand accessibility to a wider range of psychosocial and case management services for LGBTI and create long term capacities to address their needs. Additionally, UNHCR and partners will support the establishment of support networks among LGBTI refugees which will enable them to provide mutual psychosocial and emotional support. 

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in United Nations or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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