Refugee and Asylum issues

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


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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: 852

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.

Invisible in the City Invisible in the City

Date added: 05/16/2013
Date modified: 05/16/2013
Filesize: 3.35 MB
Downloads: 936

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.

LGBT families - and the free movement directive LGBT families - and the free movement directive

Date added: 06/14/2012
Date modified: 09/03/2012
Filesize: 476.71 kB
Downloads: 1266

free_movementILGA-Europe, together with national LGBT organisations, have campaigned vigorously for an inclusive definition of family within the new EU Citizens Directive, (2005).

The Court of Justice has emphasized that free movement is a fundamental right of EU citizens, regardless of the reason why an individual decides to live in another Member State. Consequently, in 2001, the European Commission proposed replacing the various laws covering workers, students, etc with a single Directive on the free movement rights of all EU citizens. The Directive took more than two years to negotiate and a central issue was the definition of the ‘family’ of an EU citizen.

Mean Streets: Identifying and Responding to Urban Refugees' Risks of Gender-Based Violence Mean Streets: Identifying and Responding to Urban Refugees' Risks of Gender-Based Violence

Date added: 10/06/2017
Date modified: 10/06/2017
Filesize: 1.68 MB
Downloads: 324

feb 2016

2016, 148 pages

The Women’s Refugee Commission  research focuses on the needs of  refugees , identifies solutions and advocates for programs and policies to strengthen their resilience and drive change in humanitarian practice. This research was conducted in Ecuador, Lebanon, Uganda, and India,  where the emphasis is  on the urban refugees who face gender-based violence risks as a result of multiple and complex unmet social, medical, and economic needs, as well as intersecting oppressions based on race, ethnicity, nationality, language, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. The project looked separately at the GBV risks of different urban refugee subpopulations: women; adolescent girls; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; persons with disabilities; and male survivors of sexual violence. Refugees engaged in sex work were added as a subpopulation, due to their invisibility and the heightened GBV risks they face.


Rainbow bridges. Rainbow bridges.

Date added: 08/15/2012
Date modified: 09/03/2012
Filesize: 301.43 kB
Downloads: 1469

ORAM_Rainbow_bridgesA community guide to rebuilding the lives of LGBTI refugees and asylees.

In a 2012 report, ORAM estimates that:

• 175,000 LGBTI persons are in peril in their home countries worldwide

• 7,500 manage to escape

• Of these, only 750 are able to access the refugee protection system

• Of those, only 350 are officially recognized as refugees

• Fewer than 200 per year worldwide currently attain resettlement based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

While the actual numbers of LGBTI persons who escape persecution will never be known, those resettled based on their sexual orientation or gender identity make up a tiny handful worldwide.

This estimate does not include those who do not reveal their LGBTI status to adjudicators, or who receive refugee protection on other grounds — race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in another particular social group.

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