The International Humanitarian Studies Association is a network engaged with the study of humanitarian crises caused by natural disaster, conflict or political instability.

Taking sexual and gender minorities out of the too-hard basket

Submitted by Jo-Hannah Lavey
For panel Participation and Accountability in Humanitarian Disaster Management

Humanitarians provide assistance and protection to those affected by crises based on need. They have committed to 'leave no-one behind'. Despite this commitment, sexual and gender minorities are largely missing from humanitarian action. "Too many officials and NGO leaders operate on the mistaken belief that LGBT people face no greater vulnerabilities than the general population, constitute a number insignificant to warrant attention, or are undeserving of the assistance due to other disaster victims and survivors". This paper challenges the premise that it is too hard to improve the inclusion of sexual and gender minorities in humanitarian action. It looks at why it is so important that we make progress quickly, identifies possible roadblocks, and suggests practical ways to move the inclusion of sexual and gender minorities into the 'possible basket', mapping actions against the humanitarian program cycle.