Article submitted by Andriana Ntziadima, Communications and Youth Projects Manager, IARS International Institute - Eurodesk UK Partner.
An exclusive online platform www.epsilonproject.eu that hosts the first ever pan-European LGBT-led project EPSILON “Equipping Professionals for Supporting LGBT refugees” was launched in December.
EPSILON is the first project in Europe truly led by an independent user advisory group consisting of LGBT migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, professionals and researchers from the UK and Europe. The project seeks to fill the information gap about the situation of lesbian, gay and transgender refugees and asylum seekers in refugee camps, detention centers and the community.
LGBT migrants are among the most persecuted groups and are frequently subjected to violence, harassment and discrimination by members of their own communities, and by state and non-state agents in the receiving countries.
Dr. Theo Gavrielides, IARS’ Founder and Director, said: “Brexit or not, discrimination is a fact. At IARS we focus on the most current needs that Europe faces and thus in partnership with the European Commission and NGOs from abroad we developed EPSILON as a response to the increasing need for support of LGBT migrants and refugees. The launch of this online space is only the first step towards our efforts to help tackle persistent inequality and prosecution of one of the most vulnerable groups at home and abroad”.
As the project unfolds, the website will feature regular updates, reports, news and events and training opportunities for a range of audiences including refugee professionals, community workers, researchers, policy makers, and LGBT people of concern. Furthermore, the partnership will produce quarterly newsletters with key project findings, relevant news and opportunities for involvement. (You can subscribe here).
The platform will also host an evidence based, accredited online training course for professionals addressing issues of dignity, respect and inclusion which will be co-designed with LGBT refugees and asylum seekers. Professionals and target groups will be encouraged to exchange knowledge and best practice contributing to the broader dialogue in the field of protection and human rights.
Epsilon is developed and delivered in partnership with 4 European partners with long standing experience in engaging with marginalized and disadvantaged groups namely; Anziani e Non Solo (Italy), the Family and Childcare Centre (Greece) Movisie, the Centre for social development (Netherlands) and the Center for Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology (CARDET) (Cyprus). IARS International Institute is acting as the coordinator.
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