RainboW : Welcome to LGBTQI+ refugees

European project
September 2020 to August 2022

Around the world, many people face persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (SOGI). Leaving their country of origin becomes their only means of survival. Fleeing persecution, therefore, to find refuge in a host country where "new labels" are added to those of the LGBTQI+ communities (gathering people whose SOGI is different from the heterosexual and cisgender norm) : refugee, foreigner, or migrant. It is to improve the reception of these people facing intersectional discrimination that POUR LA SOLIDARITE-PLS and its four European partners have created the RainboW! project.


  • Because LGBTQI+phobia – intolerance towards people with OSIG  other than the norm – still exists, causing both physical and psychological violence, LGBTQI+ people face discrimination and isolation.

When these acts of violence can imply (sometimes legally) death, imprisonment or social exclusion in countries around the world, LGBTQI+ people might have to leave their home country and ask for asylum elsewhere, where they think life could be better for them. A status that often implies other discriminations and prejudices.

This project aims to deal with this population at the intersection of two factors: being on the LGBTQI+ spectrum and being an asylum seeker or refugee.

  • Why? Because in the EU, specialized institution focusing on only one of these populations are not trained for the intersectional approach needed.

Refugees' reception centres do not always have the knowledge and capacities to welcome safely LGBTQI+ refugees whereas LGBTQI+ shelters are not specialized to support refugees and their specifics needs.

By whom?

This transnational project gathers actors on the field and experts:


The project “Rainbow Welcome” aims to :

  • Identify legal and on-the-ground procedures and offers dealing with welcoming LGBTQI+ refugees;
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses when answering LGBTQI+ refugees needs;
  • Equip LGBTQI+ shelters and associations as well as refugees' reception centres and public authorities on how to welcome, orientate and answer the needs of LGBTQI+ refugees;
  • Raise awareness about the situation of LGBTQI+ refugees;
  • Advocate for LGBTQI+ refugees rights and needs towards the EU.

RainboW is a project rooted in today's realities: it is essential to understand the phenomena of intersectionality that lead to the increased vulnerabilisation of some people. RainboW is the ambition to work together to build a more welcoming and inclusive society.


Louise Pigeolet


European Union