What We Do
The Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR) is an international, non-for profit, queer human rights organization based in Toronto, Canada, where it was founded on October 9th 2008.
Since 2008, IRQR’s provisions of support and counseling have become a reliable source of help for people who are seeking to move on from past persecution. Through IRQR clients will gain confidence, and develop lasting support networks, as well as increasing their chance of being successfully resettled and accepted in their new home.
We provide support and counseling to Iranian queers worldwide. This support includes but is not subject to; financial aid for shelter, food and healthcare. IRQR follows up with their Iranian queer refugee cases from when leave until they arrive in a safe country and are supportive during the entire refugee process.
Our goal is to eliminate Iranian queer issues as part of mainstream human rights discourse. This will be completed though media presence, contributions to high profile events and lobbying. IRQR regularly visits to Turkey to meet refugees, document their situation and collect their feedback on IRQR activities. We have witnessed significant changes among the Iranian society in that last ten years, which confirms that it is achievable.
As of January 2014, IRQR was able to help process more than 820 refugee applications since 2005. Approximately 66% of refugees who approached IRQR were successfully granted refugee status. We provide consultations to about 90 clients per week; this includes working with queer people who currently live in Iran, Iran’s neighboring countries such as Turkey and in Canada. IRQR has worked closely with UNHCR office, NGOs and the government to assist refugees.
Whenever possible IRQR extends financial and educational support to those currently in transit countries through donations. We connect asylum seekers and refugees with UNHCR offices around the world. IRQR has a commitment to help refugees resettle in safe countries though referrals for housing, employment, legal aid; as well as supporting clients through emotional and health related issues.
In the last few years, we were able to build a simple structure and focus upon enabling Iranian queer asylum seekers to be safe on their journey and arrive in a new country to live and be free.