Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced a pilot project to help refugees persecuted for their sexual orientation.
The Star reports that through the project, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will work with the Rainbow Refugee Committee to share the cost of sponsoring gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual and bisexual refugees overseas to Canada.
The department will provide CAN$100,000 in assistance to cover three months of income support for the refugees upon their arrival, while the Rainbow committee will offer orientation services, accommodation, food and other basic needs.
“These funds are a welcome first step in response to the crisis facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people around the globe, at a time when 77 countries continue to criminalize homosexuality and five prescribe the death penalty,” said Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada, the country's largest LGBT human rights organization.
“The Rainbow Refugee Committee provides critical support to asylum seekers fleeing homophobic and transphobic persecution in their countries of origin.”
A private sponsorship programme will also be pushed to ensure the future of the program.