Who We Are
WHO WE AREThe International Organization for Migration (IOM) is part of the United Nations System as the leading inter-governmental organization promoting since 1951 humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all, with 175 member states and a presence in over 100 countries. IOM has had a presence in Belgium since 1973.
Our WorkAs the leading inter-governmental organization promoting since 1951 humane and orderly migration, IOM plays a key role to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through different areas of intervention that connect both humanitarian assistance and sustainable development. IOM in Belgium and Luxembourg provides a comprehensive response to the humanitarian needs of migrants, returnees and host communities.
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The Brussels-Capital Region and RainbowHouse Brussels have developed a toolbox that aims at creating safe(r) spaces for people with a migrant background who identify as LGBTQI+*. This toolbox has been developed to help bridge a gap between LGBTQI+ people with a migrant background and frontline services in urban contexts.
* lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer, inclusive of individuals with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and/or sex characteristics who use other terms or no terms to describe themselves.
Download our toolbox here!
|English (link to videos (EN))
|Nederlands (link naar videos (NL))
|Français (lien vers les videos (FR))
|Português (link para vídeos (EN))
The different sections of the toolbox have been developed for all frontline workers, especially those that have little time or resources at hand. RainbowHouse has structured the toolbox to be both informative and practical, opting to use accessible language and simple exercises that are accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of education. It will come fully equipped with an awareness raising strategy, consisting of video’s, flyers and a poster!
The toolbox does not aim to achieve the impossible task of giving a foolproof recipe of how to act when meeting someone who combines a specific set of intersectional identities. It has chosen however, to focus on ways to adjust one’s attitude and behaviors to create a safe(r) environment, especially in multicultural contexts.
The toolbox contains 5 different sections:
For more information about this toolbox, read our latest project update!
Each toolbox developed in the project has been carefully put together by our team and reviewed by a diverse panel of thematic experts at the end of 2020. The experts brought a wide variety of expertise and insights on the comprehensiveness, duplicability and practical use of the tools in other EU contexts. The experts involved in the project include field specialists, activists, academics, and specialized city services. Want to know more about our team and the experts of the LGBTQI+ toolbox? Click on the drop down list below!
Meet the Team
- Aïda Yancy
Coordinator of RainbowHouse Brussels for the Equalcity project
Contact Aïda for questions, requests and additional info.
Meet the Experts
- Sabien Blondeel
Sabien is a Policy advisor on LGBTQIA+ matters in the city administration of the city of Gent (Belgium). She is also a member of the Rainbow Cities Network.
Sabien and the city of Gent joins the expert panel as a trainee city, to include cities' perspectives.
Why does Sabien participate in this expert panel?
"We have little experience with the topic of safe spaces as such. That's why we entered the Equalcity project. I do have a lot of insight in which tools can or can’t be implemented in our city policy. My feedback will be a compilation of my feedback and the feedback of my colleagues working in the local asylum centre, and the local integration office. I hope through the panel to participate in a dialogue about building bridges between this community and the city administration."
- Aurelie Disasi (Aru Lee)
Aru Lee is a Workshop Coordinator and Facilitator on Safer Spaces and Mental health.
Aru's expertise lies in safe spaces, especially in work environments, LBGTQ+ Mental health and Youth Work.
Why does Aru Lee participate in this expert panel?
"Participating in this expert panel means I am a part of a conversation on issues that not only directly affect me but those around me. We all have a duty to become that safer space we constantly aim to create for others, and that first step is ensuring we are hearing, seeing and including those affected within the decision making processes and beyond."
Contact Aru Lee through e-mail.
Interested in the work of Aru Lee? Follow Aru Lee through Instagram.
- Guglielmo Schininà
Guglielmo is the Head of Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication at the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Guglielmo is an expert in mental health and psychosocial support in emergency as well as in cultural integration. In more than 25 years of experiences around the world, the focus of his work has lied on community-based approaches to working with conflict-affected and vulnerable migrant populations such as survivors of human trafficking and SGBV.
Why does Guglielmo participate in this expert panel?
"I am passionate about programs that promote the rights, protection and wellbeing of migrants, and about gender equality. Effective support services require an interdisciplinary and integrated approach. As such, I am happy to be part of a panel that brings together experts from different fields whose expertise and best practice can be of inspiration for IOM psychosocial support programs in Europe and worldwide. As a panelist, I am to advocate for the mainstreaming and the cross-cutting consideration of psychosocial and cultural wellbeing in the design and implementation of Equalcity."
Contact Guglielmo through e-mail.
Interested in the work of IOM MHPSS? Visit the webpage here!
- Adeola Naomi Aderemi
Adeola is the Editor in Chief of Distinguished Diva.
Adeola's experience lies in LGBTQI+ matters and migration policy and background. Adeola is also an experienced programmer and the curator of Queer safer spaces.
Why does Adeola participate in this expert panel?
"I am a firm believer that we cannot create solid and applicable policies or tools without the insights and guidance of the core people in that demographic and this is my motivation to be part of the expert panel is to bring my expertise of more than a decade working with the expert panel to review and guide the process of this work."
- Jennifer Rumbach
Jenn is HR-Business Partner and LGBTIQ+ Focal Point for IOM. She also holds the position of Treasurer at the UN-GLOBE Board, which is the UN group representing LGBTIQ+ staff. Furthermore, she is a Member of the Research Advisory Group on the All Survivor’s Project, focusing on crisis-related sexual violence affecting men and LGBTIQ+ people.
Since 2005, Jenn has worked in the field of migration in a number of countries, including Benin, Ghana, Egypt, Iraq, India, Jordan, Pakistan and Nepal, and was part of the IOM 2015 Nepal earthquake response team. She authored a training package on working with people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) in the humanitarian context that is now in wide use, including by IOM, UNHCR, other UN agencies, NGOs and national asylum offices. She has trained more than 1700 humanitarian professionals serving 30 UN agencies, governments and organizations in 17 countries on how to create inclusive and safe spaces for LGBTIQ+ people who migrate or seek international protection as refugees, and advises IOM and other organizations on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in humanitarian programmatic work. She has also managed the development of protection-related trainings on intersectionality, disability, gender, children and older people. Her published work includes Towards Inclusive Resettlement for LGBTI Refugees in Forced Migration Review (2013) and Sexual and Gender Minorities in Humanitarian Emergencies in Issues of Gender and Sexual Orientation in Humanitarian Emergencies (2014). She was a 2005-06 Fulbright Scholar to Ghana, where she researched refugee security issues in camp settings.
Why does Jenn participate in this expert panel?
"I’m thrilled to be involved in this vital work on what is often an overlooked area and an underserved population – safe urban spaces for LGBTIQ+ people who migrate. I haven’t focused on the European context in my own work, so serving as a member of the expert panel will be a great learning experience. "
Contact Jenn through e-mail.
- Houda Zarioh
Houda is a Social worker at Alias.
The objectives of Alias are to relaunch and perpetuate in Brussels a quality psycho-medico-social accompaniment project specifically aimed at male and transgender sex workers in Brussels, with a priority focus on health promotion, including aspects of prevention and risk reduction, access to health care and social rights for the public.
Why does Houda participate in this expert panel?
"As a front-line association it is important for us to be inclusive and to be at the lowest level of access. Therefore we think it's important for us to think about how to make our space more safe and comfortable for our public. We would have liked to think about solutions with the public too."
Interested in Houda's work? Check it out on Facebook.
LesMigraS is the anti-violence anti-discrimination department from Lesbenberatung Berlin (Germany) and it exists since more than 20 years.
LesMigraS offers counselling on topics related to multiple discriminations, homo and transphobia, racism and violence. It is a space for and from LGBTIQ+ migrants, refugees and BIPoC. Besides counselling, LesMigraS also organises workshops, community events, panel discussions, research and publications on the different topics.
Why does LesMigraS participate in this expert panel?
"We are happy to share our expertise with other organisations in order to make safer spaces more accessible for LGBTIQ+ refugees and migrants."
You can also contact LesMigraS through e-mail.
This project is funded by the European Union