Canadian and International LGBT Refugee-Serving Agencies

There are many Canadian and International organizations that either serve refugees or work to prevent LGBT persecution resulting in fewer refugees. Here are a few of these.

ADA - BEYOND THE RAINBOWADA is based in Montreal and was created to welcome and assist members of the GLBT community who have had difficulty in their country of origin due to sexual orientation, regardless of age or ethnicity, to integrate more easily into Quebec society; to defend their rights in a perspective of social development; and to portray the benefits of multiculturalism within a society.

AGIRAGIR (Action for LGBTQ refugees and newcomer immigrants) is an association whose membership includes a network of refugees, immigrants, community activists and service providers whose main purpose is to develop and provide services, resources and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) refugees, immigrants and newcomers with no status within the Montreal-area.

Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and MigrantsAssociation for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants provides solutions for the problems encountered by the refugees and asylum seekers in Turkey and supports these groups towards meeting their basic needs. It provides psycho-social counselling for refugees and asylum seekers, raises public awareness and draws the attention of the related authorities to the problems of these groups. It provides services without discrimination on the basis of language, religion, gender, race, sexual orientation or political stance.

Capital Rainbow RefugeCapital Rainbow Refuge is committed to providing safe haven to sexual minority refugees fleeing  dangerous situations. We also want to provide a compassionate and welcoming environment in which they can build a better life, free of persecution.Egale

Egale provides answers to frequently asked questions on LGBT issues in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee System.


Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees – IRQR: advances human rights for Iranian queers asylum seekers/refugees to increase public awareness of their plight and to provide continued support to them where and when it is required. It advocates for queer rights in Iran. IRQR advocates on behalf of Iranian queer asylum seeker/refugees and provides support and counseling to Iranian queers worldwide. Support includes financial aid for shelter, food and healthcare.

RahaWeb_f3qr9stcdrsbflmz0785l4qr854Iranian Queer Organization – IRQO: is a non-profit Canadian organization. IRQO defends human and civil rights of Iranian LGBT individuals living in Iran or as refugees in Diaspora; raises awareness, and explains sexual orientation and gender identity to Iranian society; works to decriminalize homosexuality in Iran; and, with the international LGBTQ community, sustains and supports human and civil rights of the world queer community.

kaosgl_logo_enKaos GL: conducts refugee activities in the context of human rights monitoring, reporting and legal support. This support is given as social and legal activities to LGBT individuals who are coming to Turkey as a transit country. Within the scope of this program, it communicates and cooperates with NGOs, national and international immigration and human rights institutions.  Kaos GL also has a goodwill agreement with UN department for refugees, UNHCR.

Unknown-6Lesbian and Gay Immigration Task Force (LEGIT): is an organization of volunteers helping same-sex couples who wish to live together in Canada. Many of us are couples who have been successful insettling in Canada. We are not lawyers. We hope this information is helpful and supportive. It is not intended to be legal advice.Canadian Immigration for Same-sex Partners


Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Toronto: collaborates with other organizations on just and effective public policies related to refugees and immigration; coordinates with other organizations and Canadian governments: communicates and cooperates with other denominations and faith communities working on matters related to refugees and immigration; provides sponsorship support for settlement of refugees once they arrive in Canada; provides emotional, social and spiritual support; collaborates with other organizations in identifying individuals outside Canada as refugees needing sponsorship and assists in providing financial assistance and/or support to permit a smooth transition from their location to Canada.

Unknown-1Organizaton for Refuge Asylum and Migration (ORAM): is the only international organization devoted solely to advocating on behalf of LGBTI refugees fleeing persecution due to sexual orientation or gender identity. ORAM works resolutely to break down systemic barriers to their safety and shelter. To elicit policy changes, ORAM collaborates and lobbies with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. State Department, other NGOs, and governments.

Outright Action InternationalOutRight Action International, formerly known as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, is a leading international organization dedicated to human rights advocacy on behalf of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.


Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 9.43.52 AMThe Rainbow Railroad receives hundreds of requests for help every year from countries where LGBT individuals are open targets of violence. Because the volume of requests is so high, it focuses efforts on assisting LGBT people who have faced physical violence or face an imminent threat of violence, imprisonment, or death. It has been successful in helping individuals from the Caribbean, Africa and Middle East where it has local networks to support and validate cases,

Rainbow Refugee Assoc. of NSRainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia is a registered non-profit society involved in advocating for, supporting, and privately sponsoring LGBTQ refugees for re-settlement in Canada. It is a volunteer-run, community-based resource for Nova Scotians interested in LGBTQ asylum issues and international rights.

UnknownRainbow Refugee Committee (RRC): is a Vancouver based community group that supports and advocates with people seeking refugee protection because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. RRC engages in outreach, advocacy and public education on QLGBT/HIV+ refugee issues. RRC is member driven and all volunteer. RRC also provides information to asylum seekers outside Canada.

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The Refugee Legal Aid Programme promotes the legal protection of refugees, globally. We do this by centralizing resources for legal assistance providers and refugeesthemselves. Legal aid is in its infancy in most of the world, but is crucial to the realisation of refugees’ rights, especially the critical firststep: recognition of refugee status. Few countries provide legal assistance to refugees, and it is vital that legal service providers share their experiences and assist in the better development of refugee legal protection everywhere.

Unknown-3UNHCR Canada: monitors Canadian practice and policies to ensure protection of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers; bolsters the support of the Government of Canada for UNHCR programs overseas; works with the government and private sponsorship groups by helping to coordinate resettlement opportunities when appropriate; generates greater awareness of the plight of refugees and displaced people; and, encourages financial contributions to support the work of the UN Refugee Agency.

MigraBO’ is an agency in Italy that works with LGBT migrants with a particular focus on refugees.  MigraBO' LGBT's Profile Photo