LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers at risk in detention

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) asylum seekers and refugees face systemic violence and discrimination around the world. Many of them seek protection abroad, yet they are too often faced with new and continued forms of discrimination while in transit and within their host countries, or countries of asylum.

The APT was very pleased to moderate a panel on 14 June, during the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council, on the issue of violence against LGBTQ asylum seekers and refugees in detention. Panelists highlighted the specific risks faced by LGBTQ people throughout their immigration journey, including solitary confinement, targeted violence, prolonged period of detention or poor medical care. They called for an end of the detention of LGBTQ persons on the basis of their specific vulnerability, the institution of procedures to disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity in a safe, voluntary and dignified manner, as well as the establishment of alternatives to detention.

The need to have independent oversight of immigration detention facilities was also stressed, together with proper training of monitors to ensure they are equipped to detect and address specific abuse against LGBTQ people. Last but not least, all policies on the matter should be developed together with grass-root LGBTQ organisations.

The side-event was co-organised with the International Detention Coalition (IDC), the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) and the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC).