AD CAMPAIGN REVEALS EXCLUSION AND STEREOTYPES FACED BY REFUGEES FLEEING HOMOPHOBIC PERSECUTION – OR
In honor of International Human Rights Day, global LGBTI refugee organization ORAM launches ad campaign “LGBT refugees deserve our protection”.
10 December 2013 (San Francisco) – In honor of International Human Rights Day, the global LGBT refugee organization ORAM launched a social media campaign today titled “LGBT refugees deserve our protection.” The campaign comprises three portraits of refugees, featuring the most popular Google auto-complete search terms related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex refugees. The auto-complete results powerfully highlight the persistent exclusion and challenges LGBTI refugees encounter every day on their flight to safety. These auto-complete responses cover refugees’ mouths, symbolizing the widespread homophobia and transphobia that render this vulnerable refugee population invisible, afraid to ask for help, terrified to come out… and with reason. This campaign aims to become viral on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #LGBTIrefugees. The ads for this ORAM campaign can be shared from http://bit.ly/1d3f1. If you are interested in publishing this ad campaign in a newspaper or a magazine, please contact us for print-quality visuals.
ORAM founder and Executive Director Neil Grungras explained, “In the fight for civil and human rights, and during the HIV/AIDS crisis, LGBTI people and their allies stepped forward to speak up and help out. When our Russian, Ugandan, Honduran sisters and brothers run for their lives, we must step forward again to make sure they find safe haven. We hope people will be inspired to support ORAM’s work to advocate for LGBTI refugees around the world.”
Like all forced migrants, LGBTI refugees deserve and have the right to request international protection. However, in most countries, sexual and gender minority refugees face a toxic mix of extreme isolation, community violence, marginalization, and denial of access to healthcare, housing, and employment. Local immigration authorities often also don’t know how to — or don’t want to — provide protection. Where other refugees can turn to their fellow country-people for solidarity and practical assistance, LGBTI refugees are doubly-excluded: by both xenophobia and homophobia/transphobia. “After escaping persecution at home, LGBTI refugees often flee to countries where they now have none of the family or social group supports they might have once counted on,” Neil Grungras pointed out. “We also hope this campaign will encourage local communities to come together to create welcoming environments for these refugees.”
ORAM released a short educational video, this year — No Place for Me — in which LGBTI refugees tell their own stories in powerful and authentic voices.
About ORAM Headquartered in San Francisco, California, ORAM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration – is the leading global advocate for people fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. ORAM increases global support for thousands of refugees and asylum seekers through advocacy and education. We provide trainings to refugee professionals, individuals and groups interested in working with LGBTI refugees, asylees, and asylum seekers. Learn more at www.oraminternational.org.