About Reaching Out Winnipeg

Reaching Out Winnipeg (ROW) is a program to help people who face serious persecution and intense discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face serious persecution and discrimination in many countries around the world. Few people know how bad it really is. There are many countries with laws designed to persecute LGBT people.

For instance, in eight countries LGBT people face the death penalty.

In 72 countries LGBT people can legally be punished with imprisonment, sometimes life imprisonment, or public torture by their government. In 45 countries these laws are applied to women as well as men.

In many parts of the world it is customary to practice honour killings, corrective rapes, blackmail, extortion and forced marriage against someone suspected of being LGBT. It is also legal to refuse to give someone a job, an education, a place to live or other basic rights if they are LGBT.

Because of these terrible circumstances many LGBT people flee their homes to other countries nearby. Often nearby countries are unable to provide permanent safe settlement for LGBT refugees, so LGBT persons must seek permanent safety in countries like Canada, the USA, Australia, Sweden, Norway or the United Kingdom. But it isn’t easy for the LGBT person to get there and there are many steps to take.

ROW’s objective is to create an increased number of permanent resettlement opportunities for LGBT refugees in Winnipeg.

Read about the LGBT refugee experience and how you can get involved.