What Can You Do?

We Need Your Donations To Help Pay for Iranian LGBT Refugees in Transit Countries

There is a great need for financial aid for Iranian LGBT refugees in transit countries like Turkey and Malaysia.

Like in the past couple decades, there are Iranian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender asylum seekers who are waiting refugee determination and resettlement in a safe country. These individuals have left behind various forms of persecution, endured violence, insult, and sexual harassment, and death threats in the hands of their own family and friends and states agents alike. They will have to reside in Turkey up to two years before they’re resettled in Canada, USA, or Australia. Wait-time in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand is much longer. Very rarely, an LGBT asylum seeker leaves Iran with enough money in hand to last his or her basic needs for shelter and food for the whole 2 years. The rest are always in need of financial aid to cover expenses such rent of a room, electricity, water, heat, and hot water, food, transportation, medicine, and the residential tax-money payable to the government of Turkey monthly and annually.

IRQO has been providing legal advocacy, and financial aid to those of Iranian LGBT asylum seekers and refugees who were in need of support since 2007. From 2011 until summer of 2013 IRQO collaborated with two other organizations to provide financial aid to over 150 individual LGBT refugees in Turkey as emergency funding for basic needs for repeated three-months periods. Since this project came to and end on August 2013, we have not have any resources to provide for the many LGBT who are presently in Turkey.

At this point, 240 asylum seekers and refugees are waiting refugee determination and resettlement in Turkey’s satellite cities; an smaller number are waiting determination and resettlement processes in Malaysia.

While nearly half of them are in need of financial aid, 53 of them have absolutely no means to pay basic needs such shelter, food, medication.

During the wait-time in transit country, it is illegal for asylum seekers and refugees to be employed. Therefore those who find unlicensed labor, not only are underpaid and required to do long hours of heavy physical work, but often are not paid at all, if the employer wishes to withhold their pay. Because of the nature of the physically demanding jobs and the chemically polluted workplaces, those who work, and are experienced in labor-market, end up suffering from different illnesses such as respiratory diseases, sever backaches, injuries, losing fingers or getting burns on their hands and body.

We need your donations to help these individuals pay their way during the wintertime. We need your donations for at least another 3 months until end of April.

We need to raise at least 10000 US Dollars for the medical and basic needs this summer.

We have set our goal at raising 3000 US Dollars every month, starting this December [C1]. A committee of refugees in Turkey andSaghi Ghahraman, IRQO’s president of the board will be handing out the money to those who are in the list for financial aid.

You can also see how you can help these asylum seekers and refugees by contacting us and visiting http://www.irqo.org/english/?page_id=347

Iranian Queer Organization, IRQO, is a Toronto based non-profit organization that promotes and protects the rights of Iranian Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transsexuals in Iran and abroad.

For more information you can contact 416-407-5451 and speak with Saghi Ghahraman, or emailboard@irqo.org.

Thank you for your concern and attention to the LGBT refugees.
Saghi Ghahraman