Pride: statement from Sanj Srikanthan

We put families first, but we do not seek to hold to one definition of what a family is

17 June 2020

Statement - 17 June 2020

ShelterBox Chief Executive says that ‘We put families first, but we do not seek to hold to one definition of what a family is.’

A message from Sanj Srikanthan

“In some of the countries where we work and will work, there remains a form of discrimination that remains institutionalised in law, and where the humanitarian principle of impartiality is continually challenged. Moreover, humanitarians around the world who identify as members of the LGBTQI+ community often hide their sexual orientation or identity to be allowed to continue to work, even in 2020.

“June is LGBTQI+ Pride Month and it is a celebration of how far the world has come and a reflection of how far we have to go to remove discrimination from our treatment of those who are LGBTQI+. The reality is that while there have been many public calls from businesses, civil society, political leaders, and faith groups to recognise this, the everyday treatment of many LGBTQI+ remains unacceptable and often unknown.

“ShelterBox’s values extend to how we remember the struggle against discrimination. We put families first, but we do not seek to hold to one definition of what a family is. We go further to deliver to ‘hard to reach’ communities which includes the LGBTQI+ community, often one of the hardest to reach.

“We have much to do to think about how we operationalise our actions to ensure we deliver according to need and oppose attempts at discrimination. But our acknowledgement of this goal is best articulated by our wholehearted support for LGBTQI+ Pride and reflecting on the journey of fellow humanitarians and clients we serve who are members of the LGBTQI+ community.”

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