TORONTO -- Since 2006, Rainbow Railroad has helped more than 900 LGBTQ+ people escape violence and persecution in their home country. Now, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the organization says much of their work has slowed and vulnerable people have been put at greater risk.

Same-sex intimacy is criminalized in more than 70 countries around the world, where LGBTQ+ people continue to face violence, persecution, jail, and even death all because of who they are and who they love. ​

A 2019 report from the United Nations found that two in five LGBTQ+ respondents experienced an abusive incident in the last year because of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Ninety per cent of respondents said they did not report the incident, because “it happens all the time.”

For nearly 15 years, Rainbow Railroad has worked to remove people from dangerous situations that have become more complicated since the pandemic began. Travel is restricted in many parts of the world, and borders remain sealed.

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