The Liberal government says it’s committed to bringing more LGBT refugees to Canada, but advocates say funding uncertainty, lengthy processing and lack of specialized training for visa officers are threatening resettlement efforts.
Next year, Canada will bring in about 43,000 refugees, among them lesbian, gay, transgender and other people facing persecution based on sexual orientation.
Sharalyn Jordan, chair of the B.C-based Rainbow Refugee, said lives are at risk in nearly 80 countries which outlaw certain sexual orientation. Her organization has resettled 95 sponsored LGBT refugees with the assistance of federal funding.
But she’s worried that money will soon dry up.
“The uncertainty means we can’t go forward with this work and potentially ends the sponsorship of LGBT refugees,”Jordan told CBC News.
“This is work that creates safety for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees, people who are persecuted not only in their own country, but often the other country they flee to is just as dangerous.”