Current migration situation in the EU: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex asylum seekers

March
2017
This report reviews how asylum claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity are assessed and analyses the existence of specific reception measures for LGBTI persons.
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Current migration situation in the EU: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex asylum seekers

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons may have special reception needs and/or grounds for international protection that are related to distinct vulnerabilities. Member State authorities need to establish whether or not this is the case using adequate, effective and fundamental rights-compliant ways to ensure appropriate reception and protection conditions for LGBTI persons.

The report covers:

  • Statistics and numbers
  • Assessment of LGBTI asylum claims
    • Collecting evidence regarding claims based on sexual orientation or gender identity
    • Assessing claims based on sexual orientation or gender identity
    • Guidance and training
    • Interpreters
  • Reception conditions
    • Measures to ensure safe accommodation
    • Training of reception staff
    • LGBTI asylum seekers and the risk of hate crime
    • Transgender-related healthcare

Main findings

  • There are no official statistics on the number of asylum claims based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Only a few EU Member States have specific national guidelines for interviewing LGBTI persons.
  • Civil society representatives note that eligibility interviews are often too short and lack specific attention to persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity. According to NGOs, asylum officers tend to have stereotypical views on sexual orientation and gender identity. Support from civil society has a significant impact on the appropriate handling of asylum cases and applicants’ openness towards asylum authorities.
  • In most EU Member States there are no special accommodation facilities for LGBTI persons, but special measures – such as transfers to single rooms – can often be taken in case of abuse or harassment. However, civil society emphasises the need to take preventive measures.
  • Training on specific LGBTI vulnerabilities is provided to reception centre staff randomly, usually by relevant NGOs. Information leaflets from NGOs are often available, but usually not in all needed languages.
  • Most incidents of violence or harassment motivated by bias against LGBTI asylum seekers are not reported and are not recorded as such.
  • There are insufficient guidelines on the provision of specific healthcare (e.g. hormonal treatment) to transgender persons who already started treatment in their countries of origin. The interruption of treatment in such cases can have severe consequences.