How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting LGBTQ2 refugees waiting to come to Canada?

“Pandemics or global crises often breed stigma and discrimination. And I fear that it’s just a matter of time before members in the community are targeted,” says Kimahli Powell, executive director of the LGBTQ refugee aid organization Rainbow Railroad.

At a time when national borders are closing to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, refugees and asylum-seekers are being left in limbo. Powell discusses how Rainbow Railroad is checking in with refugees and asylum-seekers around the world who are waiting to come to Canada and how they’re being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I hope, like many, that this is a temporary position that we’re in,” Powell says. Once the pandemic is resolved, he says, “We have a responsibility to ensure that people seeking protection, especially because they’re being persecuted can resettle in Canada.”

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