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LGBTIQ+ Missing Children: Follow the Project

May 30, 2024

About the project

IGLYO — The International LGBTQI Youth & Student Organisation, Missing Children Europe and the University of Portsmouth are joining forces to collaborate on LGBTIQ+ Missing Children — a 2-year project that will study the views and lived experiences of LGBTIQ+ young people (between 18 and 24 years old) who “went missing” as children (before they turned 18 years old), with the aim to positively impact LGBTIQ+ children who are at risk of being in such situations.

What does “going missing” mean?

In the frame of the project, “going missing” is broadly defined as being homeless, running away, or being forced to leave one’s home. This definition is not exhaustive and can also have wider acceptions, such as being forced to live with other relatives or friends, being in the care of social services or foster care, being abducted/trafficked, being an asylum seeker, and/or other similar situations where a child lacks a home or has to live away from it. 

Why this project?

An episode of “going missing” can be seen as a signal of underlying issues, just as much as it can be the start of a period of marginalisation and exclusion, which can have a tremendous impact on an LGBTIQ+ child or young person throughout their lifetime. However, there is a dearth of research in Europe on the relationship between being LGBTIQ+ and “going missing”, as defined above.

With this in mind, through research, advocacy, training and campaigning, the LGBTIQ+ Missing Children project will address intersectional discrimination and inequality experienced on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics to foster prevention, support LGBTIQ+ children at risk, and inform appropriate service providers on how to provide adequate support.

What have we planned?

In a nutshell, between May 2024 and March 2026, IGLYO, Missing Children Europe, and the University of Portsmouth will perform the following activities:

1. Survey and interviews

We’ll collect data, through a multilingual survey and interviews, on the experiences of young LGBTIQ+ people with experience of being homeless, running away or being forced to leave their home before the age of 18.

2. Report for professionals

Based on this data, we’ll develop a report for professionals who can play a role in prevention, support and responses to LGBTIQ+ children, including recommendations for training, dissemination of services, awareness raising, and advocacy.

3. Online Info Hub

We’ll gather good practices and resources in an online info hub for LGBTIQ+ young people at risk of being homeless, running away or being forced to leave their home. 

4. Online & offline training for professionals

We’ll develop and deliver online and offline training for professionals (e.g. educators, guardianship and foster care service professionals, social and care workers, missing child hotlines, law enforcement officials, etc.) to teach them how to adapt their services to the specific needs of LGBTIQ+ children.

5. Information and awareness-raising campaign

We’ll create an information and awareness-raising campaign to disseminate the research findings, training resources, policy recommendations and info hub as widely as possible amongst their respective audiences (professionals across services, policy-makers and young LGBTIQ+ people).

6. Policy recommendations and symposium at the EP

We’ll draft policy recommendations and organise a policy symposium at the European Parliament to present them to EU and national policy-makers.

Advisory Boards

In the course of this project, we will be supported by a Youth Board consisting of 5 LGBTIQ+ young people with experience of being homeless, running way or being forced to leave their home before turning 18, and a Board of Professionals consisting of 5 to 10 experts from various relevant services as well as representing various identities, with particular attention paid to intersectionality. 

Both these advisory boards will give advice, feedback and input to our work. In this way, we want to integrate the perspectives of LGBTIQ+ young people with first-hand experience, as well as of different stakeholders and professionals in the field.

There is still time to apply for the Youth Board if you're interested in contributing your experience.

Press release

You can download the project launch press release here.


If you want to learn more about this project, please get in touch with IGLYO’s Programmes Manager Viola Bianchetti at viola@iglyo.org. More information about the next stages of this project will be published soon on this page. Stay tuned!

Who's behind the project?

“LGBTIQ+ Missing - The voice of LGBTIQ+ young people with experience of going missing before the age of 18” is co-funded by the European Union under the call CERV-2023-EQUAL (project number 101144825).

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