The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and the Canadian Embassy in Vienna held a panel discussion at the Agency on 1 December on the challenges lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees face.
Many will have fled their home countries and made their way to Canada or EU Member States as LGBTI people are among the world’s most vulnerable individuals. Over 70 countries criminalise same-sex relations; seven apply the death penalty for consensual same-sex conduct. In many countries, LGBTI people face harassment, arrest, torture and beatings.
Despite the fact that LGBTI people in search of international protection on grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation are often considered to belong to ‘a particular social group’ and can enter the asylum procedure, many hurdles remain in processing asylum claims of LGBTI people. There are also serious obstacles once an asylum claim is successful, when it comes to the full inclusion of LGBTI people in society.
Participants examined the difficulties LGBTI refugees face gaining asylum and acceptance into society, giving examples of promising practices on the inclusion of LGTBI asylum seekers.