EU report on LGBTI asylum seekers
On 24 March 2017, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) issued a report entirely dedicated to the situation of LGBTI asylum seekers. ILGA-Europe welcome this report, which clearly shows that Member States need to step up their efforts to make sure that EU standards are respected and applied correctly with regard to LGBTI asylum seekers.
ILGA-Europe and our partner organisations across Europe are working towards the protection of the rights and needs of LGBTI asylum seekers, raising awareness about the difficult situation LGBTI asylum seekers often find themselves in. Many are at risk of persecution precisely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Sexual orientation or gender identity can be a ground for protection under the Refugee Convention and under EU asylum law. LGBTI asylum seekers are often at risk of additional danger during their journey and upon arrival in the country where they seek asylum, which can take the form of harassment, exclusion, sexual violence, or other forms of violence.
In the FRA’s report, civil society organisations indicated how, all too often, asylum officers have stereotypical views on sexual orientation and gender identity. These views can have an impact on registration, reception conditions and case decisions. Safe accommodation and adapted healthcare are lacking, and incidents of violence and harassment are not dealt with systematically. This report shows that Member States need to step up by providing information, clear guidelines and trainings on the rights and specific needs of LGBTI asylum seekers.