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EU Agency for Fundamental Rights publishes overview of situation for LGBTI asylum seekers

Date of Publication: 
27 March 2017
Summary: 

Brief new report reviews how asylum claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity are assessed

EU Agency for Fundamental Rights publishes overview of situation for LGBTI asylum seekers

27 March 2017
EIN

A brief new paper by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides an overview of the current situation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) asylum seekers in 14 EU countries (the UK is not included).

The 20-page report is here and reviews how asylum claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity are assessed and analyses the existence of specific reception measures for LGBTI persons.

The FRA found that Slovakia was the only EU Member State covered in the report that was able to provide even partial statistics on asylum seekers whose claims are based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Overall, the main findings of the report are as follows:

• 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.