Canada announces funding to improve safety and rights of 2SLGBTQI+ people

News release

May 9, 2024 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada

People in 2SLGBTQI+ communities  continue to face discrimination, violence and marginalization, in Canada and globally. Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing their human rights and socio-economic inclusion.

Today, Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, participated in Dignity Network Canada’s Opening Panel Discussion , which included 2SLGBTQI+ human rights defenders. During the event, she announced $1.7 million in funding from Canada to be disbursed over 3 years for 2SLGBTQI+ initiatives around the world.

Canadian organization Rainbow Railroad will receive $700,000 for the International Network on 2SLGBTQI+ Forced Displacement initiative. This project aims to improve the protection of forcibly displaced 2SLGBTQI+ people around the world through research and convenings of civil society organizations, public stakeholders and people experiencing forced displacement. Rainbow Railroad is a global not-for-profit organization that helps at-risk 2SLGBTQI+ people get to safety.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will receive an additional $1 million for the Multi-Donor LGBTI Global Human Rights Initiative, which works to help protect 2SLGBTQI+ people in developing countries from violence, discrimination, stigma and criminalization. The project conducts research to inform policy; supports communications in social and behavioural change to reduce stigma and discrimination; and provides direct and emergency support to individuals and organizations. The initiative, while managed by USAID, is implemented by the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, a philanthropic organization working to support the human rights of 2SLGBTQI+ people around the world.


“Canada remains committed to protecting and advancing the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ people globally, especially those in vulnerable regions. We are proud to support our Canadian partner, Rainbow Railroad, which works closely with 2SLGBTQI+ people, as well as experienced partners like USAID, to help empower 2SLGBTQI+ communities around the world.”  

- Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development

“The work of 2SLGBTQI+ movements demonstrates the courage and resilience in these brave communities. Projects implemented by Rainbow Railroad and USAID push for progress so that 2SLGBTQI+ people can live with freedom, safety and dignity. Canada will continue to support these efforts until the work is done.”

- Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Quick facts

  • In February 2019, Canada committed to providing $30 million over 5 years and $10 million each year after through its  LGBTQ2I International Assistance Program.

  • Since June 2023, Canada has partnered with Rainbow Railroad to identify and refer at-risk 2SLGBTQI+ refugees through the Government-Assisted Refugee Program.

  • Since 2020, Canada has partnered with USAID to support the Multi-Donor LGBTI Global Human Rights Initiative.

  • In August 2018, Canada hosted the Equal Rights Coalition’s global conference LGBTI Human Rights and Inclusive Development, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Associated links


Olivia Batten
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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