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Rainbow Railroad welcomes new government funding for global LGBTQ human rights groups

From left: Members of the Dignity Network with Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, and Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on LGBTQ2 issues, following the announcement of $30 million over five years, followed by $10 million per year, for dedicated funding of LGBTQI civil society. (CNW Group/Rainbow Railroad)

OTTAWA — Rainbow Railroad applauded Thursday’s announcement by the federal government of a commitment of $30 million over five years, followed by $10 million per year, for dedicated funding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) civil society — bolstering Canada’s role in promoting LGBTQI human rights globally.

The funding was announced in Ottawa on February 7 from Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, and Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on LGBTQ2 issues.

“This funding commitment will build the capacity of our partners and networks so they can do their human rights work better — helping LGBTQI people faced with persecution around the world,” said executive director Kimahli Powell.

“Though Rainbow Railroad does not receive government funding, it’s essential for LGBTQI activists and funders to join together in solidarity and work together to bring about the change we all want to see in the world.”

In more than 70 countries, LGBTQI people face legal challenges, violence and discrimination. In eight countries, the death penalty can be applied to the sentence.

Since August 2018, at the Equal Rights Coalition Conference, civil society groups like the Dignity Network have pressured the Canadian government to increase its financial aid to LGBTQI groups internationally, and groups in Canada doing international LGBTQI human rights work.

Rainbow Railroad is an international charitable organization that assists LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex) people seeking safe haven from state-enabled violence, persecution, and the threat of death where homosexuality is criminalized. We provide information, connections, and funding for travel and other associated costs.

Press release from Rainbow Railroad

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