Media Release 18/01/22|
PSGDN calls for genuine support for LGBTQI civil society groups working in disaster-hit Tonga
Time & Location
Media Release 18/01/22
About the Event
The Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network stands in solidarity with the Kingdom of Tonga, fellow network members and its community, the Tonga Leitis’ Association following the recent eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano, causing tsunami and widespread destruction. PSGDN Chief Executive Officer Isikeli Vulavou said while the full extent of the damage is yet to be ascertained, and communication lines still down, margainalised groups such as the LGBTQI are the most vulnerable, during and after a natural disaster.
Vulavou said historically, the LGBTQI community are socially repressed and often excluded during national responses post natural disasters and are more likely to be socially isolated and face discrimination or harassment in settings such as emergency shelters. Vulavou called on the state parties and humanitarian actors providing relief-support to ensure that the principle of do no harm, when delivering services, is adhered to and made a priority.
Discrimination, violence and isolation that LGBTQI people face before, during and after emergencies weakens their ability to live resilient and dignified lives, the CEO stated. “Many humanitarian and disaster response organizations do not appear to be systematically dealing with the problems faced by the LGBTQI community and their specific needs are often not met.
“I call for more resources, intentional and genuine support and funding for LGBTQI civil society groups to work in emergency programs and deliver the much-needed support, response and relief.”