LGBT staff safety on humanitarian deployments is everyone's responsibility

Photo by: Linas Bam on Unsplash

While deployed in certain countries and cultures, LGBT humanitarian staff can encounter hostility, harassment, and targeted violence. In some places, identifying as LGBT is not just against cultural or religious norms, but punishable by imprisonment or death.

This community is highly vulnerable in some areas of the world, explained Michael Blyth, chief operations officer at Risk and Strategic Management, which provides training and operational support services to global organizations and recently developed a free course on LGBTQAI safety and security. Although it can be a sensitive issue for organizations to raise, they have a responsibility to make sure their staff are informed of the risks, know how to mitigate them, and fully understand the situation they are going into, he said.

About the author

  • Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a Reporter at Devex. She covers all things related to careers and hiring in the global development community as well as mental health within the sector — from tips on supporting humanitarian staff to designing mental health programs for refugees. Emma has reported from key development hubs in Europe and co-produced Devex’s DevProWomen2030 podcast series. She holds a degree in journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University and a master's in media and international conflict. In addition to writing for regional news publications, she has worked with organizations focused on child and women’s rights.