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We are pleased to announce that DPhil student Samuel Ritholtz has won a £45,000 (CAD $75,000) Insight Development grant from the Canadian Government Social Science and Humanities Research Council for a project in collaboration with Dr Yvonne Su of York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies (who is also a graduate of the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies). The two-year project is titled ‘At the Edge of Safety: Comparing responses to Venezuelan LGBT Refugees in Brazil and Colombia amid COVID-19’, and it seeks to understand how the different regulatory and humanitarian environments in Brazil and Colombia impact the experiences of Venezuelan LGBT refugees. By centring targeted refuges for Venezuelan LGBT refugees in border cities in Brazil and Colombia, it also will explore how peer-to-peer networks develop in both the absence and presence of state/international support.

The primary expected scholarly outcomes include knowledge creation, enhanced research collaboration and student training. To our knowledge, this project will be the first academic study of Venezuelan LGBT refugees in Brazil and Colombia. As such, this research will contribute greatly to growing the literature of the understudied topics of South-South queer migration and Southern-led responses to displacement

The project will contribute to enhanced research collaborations between researchers at York and Oxford as well as LGBT organizations in Brazil and Colombia. The topics of LGBT refugee experiences is a sensitive matter as this group is often the subject of violence, exploitation and hostility. We want to continue to build trust with the local organizations doing important work on the ground and work collaboratively to conduct research, empower asylum seekers, and advance policy recommendations.