LGBTQ refugees fleeing Ukraine face discrimination in countries with anti-gay laws

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3/4/22

Late on Thursday night, Viktória Radványi, communications director for Budapest Pride, drove with her girlfriend to the border between Hungary and Ukraine. They were picking up four LGBTQ refugees and taking them back to Budapest to provide them with safe housing, food and mental health resources. But Radványi isn’t part of any humanitarian group, nor does she have experience with refugee resettlement. She never thought she’d have to witness a war so close to her home country. Yet, when she heard about the Russian invasion in Ukraine, she immediately knew she had to help. “We know that people who say that everybody suffers from war the same way, that that’s not true. And we know that in situations of huge crisis, vulnerable groups of society will become especially vulnerable. So that was already in our hearts and minds,” said Radványi. She added that LGBTQ people in her country have been giving anything they can to help — a spare room, a couch. Armed conflict and war aggravate the vulnerability of many minority populations, and increase the likelihood that they will be exposed to abuse. According to a 2021 report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, LGBTQ people are likely to face violence, denial of basic services, arbitrary detention and abuse by security forces, among other kinds of discrimination.

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