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Our Mission

We help persecuted LGBTQI+ individuals get to safety. 

See our mission in action here


Our Mission Our Mission
What we do

What we do

Rainbow Railroad is global not-for-profit organization that helps LGTBQI+ people facing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics. In a time when there are more displaced people than ever before, LGBTQI+ people are uniquely vulnerable due to systemic, state-enabled homophobia and transphobia. These factors either displace them in their own country or prevent them from escaping harm. 

As a result of Rainbow Railroad, more LGBTQI+ individuals will be able to access lives free from persecution.

Since our founding, we’ve helped over 1,600 LGBTQI+ individuals find safety through emergency relocation and other forms of assistance. Our story has received international media attention, including a feature on CBS 60 Minutes

History

History

Rainbow Railroad was founded in 2006 as a volunteer-run organization by a diverse group of LGBTQI+ activists and human rights defenders who wanted to do more to address the levels of violence LGBTQI+ people face worldwide. Our name harkens back to the Underground Railroad – a network of activists in the 19th century, who assisted Black folks escape enslavement in the American South. 

Rainbow Railroad scaled up its operations after receiving charitable status in Canada and the United States in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

How we work

How we work

There are currently 80 million displaced people around the world – the highest number since the end of the Second World War. Every year we receive over 3000 requests for help from people whose lives are in danger. While we are unable to relocate everyone who reaches out to us, we offer a variety of programs to support individuals’ unique needs and circumstances. Working with partners on the ground, we provide results.

Where We Work

We work in all regions around the world. Our work is completed in partnership with a global network of activists and human rights defenders advocating for LGBTQI+ rights in countries around the world. The people we help are often experiencing police harassment, family violence, employment discrimination or forced conversion therapy. In some cases, they endure life-threatening attacks perpetrated by members of their families or communities.

Learn more about where we work and what we’ve done so far. 

Leadership

Leadership

We are a dedicated team of human rights defenders and advocates on the frontlines of the fight for global LGBTQI+ rights. Hailing from diverse professional and personal backgrounds, we are united in one mission: to help LGBTQI+ people internationally attain safety.

Annual Reports & Strategic Plans

2020-2022 Strategic Plan
2020-2022
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2019-2020 Impact Report
2019
2018 Annual Report
2018
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2017 Annual Report
2017
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2017-2019 Strategic Plan
2017-2019
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2016 Annual Report
2016
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2015 Annual Report
2015
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2014 Annual Report
2014
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Contact Us

General Inquiries

[email protected]

Media Inquiries

[email protected]

Rainbow Railroad
401 Richmond, Street West, Suite 360, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Rainbow Railroad USA
424 West 54th Street New York, NY 10019

Rainbow Railroad
401 Richmond, Street West, Suite 360, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
Rainbow Railroad USA
424 West 54th Street New York, NY 10019
Contact Us