Solidarity test: challenges of forced LGBTIQ migration and activism in Central-Eastern European countries in the context of Russia’s war on Ukraine

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

When Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February 2022, many LGBTIQ Ukrainians, like hundreds of thousands of their compatriots, were forced to leave their homes and move to safer areas. Those who could and chose to leave the country, fearing for their safety, entered the bordering EU member states, such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, known for their unfriendly attitudes towards homosexuality. As neither the Ukrainian government nor the authorities in these states were willing to pay attention to LGBTIQ refugees and their needs, the task of accommodating those fell on the shoulders of NGOs and volunteers in host countries. This article focuses on the efforts by LGBTIQ human rights organizations and activists in Central-Eastern Europe (CEE) into mobilizing resources to help LGBTIQ Ukrainians fleeing to Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia or staying in Ukraine. It explores how these LGBTIQ organizations responded to the forced migration of LGBTIQ Ukrainians. It argues that during this critical time, they have been indispensable for supporting displaced LGBTIQ Ukrainians. At the same time, stressing the importance of cross-border cooperation, this article addresses some challenges that LGBTIQ organizations in Central-Eastern Europe face in trying to survive in a homophobic political climate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Societies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CEE
  • Central-Eastern Europe
  • LGBTIQ refugees
  • Russian invasion
  • forced migration
  • political homophobia

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