This case explores the planning process for creating safe shelter and a stable livelihood for LGBTI refugees who have experienced forced displacement due to criminalization of their identity or war. Kenya houses over a half a million displaced refugees from neighboring Somalia and Uganda. Acting as a human rights advocate, students will need to explore the political, social, and economic consequences of refugee life to determine a long-term shelter option for LGBTI refugees.

Planning Topics

displacement, refugees, LGBTI, social justice, housing policy, advocacy planning, poverty reduction, humanitarian assistance

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn about the scale of refugee problems and the issues involved in protecting refugees.  
  2. Recognize an often overlooked and hidden population of refugees and their unique protection needs, particularly in relation to shelter.
  3. Become familiar with the actors who assist LGBTI and other refugees in camp and urban settings.
  4. Compare available shelter options for LGBTI refugees, identifying the advantages and risks of each; detail how each shelter option enhances or impedes service provision and the dignity of the individual.
  5. Discuss how isolation serves as both a protective measure and barrier to integration for LGBTI refugees.
  6. Consider the ethical obligations of service providers to work with LGBTI individuals, and the obligations of the relevant communities and governments to protect LGBTI refugees.

Download Case Study Files

Suggested Readings

  1. Bettini, G. (2013). Climate barbarians at the gate: A critique of apocalyptic narratives on ‘climate refugees.’ Geoforum 45: 63-72. Read the abstract.
  2. Human Rights First (2012). The Road to Safety: Strengthening Protection for LGBTI Refugees in Uganda and Kenya. Download the report.
  3. Rumbach, J. and K. Knight (2014). Sexual and gender minorities in humanitarian emergencies. In: Roeder, L. (Ed.) Gender and Sexual Orientation in Humanitarian Emergencies. Read the abstract.
  4. Sarmiento, C.S. and V.A. Beard (2013). Traversing the border: community based planning and transnational migrants. Journal of Planning Education and Research 33(3): 336-347. Read the abstract.