In response to the confirmed reports of abductions, detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and
deaths targeting over 200 gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, Rainbow Railroad immediately went to
action to assist those in danger.
Rainbow Railroad has been working closely with the Russian LGBT Network, a non-governmental organization
currently leading the campaign to rescue those facing danger in Chechnya.
As of July 2017, 37 individuals have escaped into safe houses in Russia, and would like to leave the country. Rainbow Railroad is providing direct travel assistance and has already negotiated safe travel for 27 individuals with a commitment to supporting everyone of them.
This includes asking the Canadian government to provide direct assistance to LGBTQ people who need our help in Chechnya and other countries by way of emergency visas. We are currently in active communication with the government. Rainbow Railroad is the only organization in the world providing this direct assistance, as it has the unique capacity to respond to this and other similar crises that may occur.
In countries all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified (LGBTI) people live in basic fear for their freedom, their safety and their lives. They often have nowhere to turn because their government and police not only tolerate but encourage this brutality. Rainbow Railroad exists to help these people get out of danger to somewhere safe. In the spirit of and with homage to the Underground Railroad, the mission of the Rainbow Railroad is to help LGBT people as they seek safe haven from state enabled violence, murder or persecution. Through funds collected by people like you, we’re able to support, provide information, and help to arrange safe transportation for these LGBT people to somewhere in the world where they can live their lives in safety.
The Winnipeg foundation changed the future of the organization in 2015 with the biggest donation ever of over $400,000. Watch the Shaw TV Winnipeg interview with director Carmyn Aleshka to hear about why they support us. Watch
TD Bank has been a supporter since a phenomenal grant as part of World Pride that allowed us to build the capacity of the organization. Aeroplan has joined in their support by together donating millions of miles and hundreds of thousands of dollars to help get LGBT people to safety.
Recognizing that many of the people we help are HIV positive, the EJAF has donated over $150,000 to help get at risk LGBT people in the Caribbean to safety and care