Refugee and Asylum issues

Guidelines and reports on international protection of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.


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Invisible in the City Invisible in the City

Date added: 05/16/2013
Date modified: 05/16/2013
Filesize: 3.35 MB
Downloads: 946

Invisible in the CityFive years ago, there was little discussion of the challenges of LGBTI refugees; today HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) and other refugee/human rights agencies—with full support of the UNHCR—are blazing the trail for enhanced protection of sexual-minority refugees. This report is the result of a one-year qualitative and quantitative research project conducted by HIAS on sexual minority refugees in the urban centers of Ecuador, Ghana, Israel, and Kenya. During the course of the research, interviews were conducted with sexual minority refugees, refugee protection professionals, and sexual minority civil society organizations.

The 43-page report presents the protection gaps facing sexual minority refugees and asylum seekers and offers recommendations for mitigating these gaps.

Addressing this, the report recommends:

  1. UNHCR and refugee NGOs must conduct outreach to sexual minority refugees where they live and work.
  2. UNHCR, governments, and resettlement countries must implement mechanisms to expedite the registration, claim evaluation, and resettlement of at-risk sexual minority refugees.
  3. UNHCR, government agencies, refugee NGOs, service providers, and sexual minority and refugee advocates must coordinate protection strategies and build referral pathways to ensure the greater protection of sexual minority refugees.
  4. UNHCR, government agencies, refugee NGOs, and service providers must regularly train all levels of staff on sensitively serving and protecting sexual minority refugees, and take other steps to create welcoming environments for sexual minorities.
  5. Donors should prioritize funding safe shelter options for sexual minority refugees in urban environments.

Informal Meeting of Experts on Refugee Claims relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Informal Meeting of Experts on Refugee Claims relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Date added: 06/14/2012
Date modified: 06/14/2012
Filesize: 314.26 kB
Downloads: 860

On 10 September 2011, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Association of Refugee Law Judges (IARLJ) and the European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA) of the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), convened an expert meeting aimed at discussing the common issues and challenges facing the judiciary and lawyers/legal representatives in examining asylum claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The focus of the meeting was on the European framework and practice, however, other jurisdictions were also discussed.

Forced Migration Review Forced Migration Review

Date added: 05/01/2013
Date modified: 05/01/2013
Filesize: 3.35 MB
Downloads: 2240

Forced MigrationAround the world, people face abuse, arbitrary arrest, extortion, violence, severe discrimination and lack of official protection because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This latest issue from April 2013 includes 26 articles on the abuse of rights of forced migrants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex. Authors discuss both the challenges faced and examples of good practice in securing protection for LGBTI forced migrants.

Fleeing homophobia - Asylum claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe Fleeing homophobia - Asylum claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe

Date added: 06/14/2012
Date modified: 09/03/2012
Filesize: 1.19 MB
Downloads: 998

Thousands of LGBTI asylum seekers apply for international protection in Europe each year. The European Union and European States have already taken some concrete and positive steps, such as recognising sexual orientation as a persecution ground in Article 10 of the Qualification Directive.

fleeing_homophobiaThis report (2011), however, shows that there are considerable differences in the way in which European States examine LGBTI asylum applications. As Europe aims at creating a Common European Asylum System with a uniform status, this is highly problematic. For example, LGB asylum applicants are regularly returned to countries where they have a well-founded fear of being imprisoned or sentenced to death for engaging in sexual activities with a person of the same gender.

A further example is that serious human rights violations against trans people, occurring on a large scale in many parts of the world, often do not lead to asylum. The study treats specific asylum seekers case stories from a broad range of EU countries. It focuses on 8 concrete issues which affect LGBT asylum seekers that apply for international protection: criminalization, State Protection against non-State Persecution, concealment of sexual orientation or gender identity, internal protection, credibility assessment, late disclosure, country of origin Information, reception and detention.

The report includes 9 main recommendations (page 11) and every chapter ends with a conclusion and recommendations.

Envisioning LGBT Refugee Rights in Canada Envisioning LGBT Refugee Rights in Canada

Date added: 07/24/2012
Date modified: 09/03/2012
Filesize: 1.19 MB
Downloads: 1026

Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights is an international participatory action research project that is studying developments in selected nations that were colonized by the British Empire.

The report (2012) is based on a Round Table Dialogue with members of 14 organizations who work with LGBTI asylum seekers in the Toronto region, as well as two conference presentations. It provides a preliminary overview of the issues for LGBT asylum seekers, including: their experiences and obstacles; ways that service providers are trying to meet their needs; service gaps; and the impact of changes to immigration and refugee laws.

Generelly the projects participants discussed various issues related to LGBT refuge and asylum seekers.

As a important future item they stated that documenting different cultural expressions and increasing the awareness and knowledge on SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) issues in the global south should be an area for action. They also discussed how many lawyers serving immigrants and refugees are not familiar with SOGI issues, including the points raised above about understanding cultural differences. Their lack of expertise in these types of cases has the effect of putting their clients, who are refugees fleeing persecution on the grounds of sexual or gender identity/expression, at a disadvantage because they often aren’t able to properly represent the case.

Overall, there is a lack of LGBT and refugee positive services and programs, as well as insufficient training on LGBT issues. These were identified as areas for further research and recommendations.

The research project's overall recommendations are on page 12-13.

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