Urban Challenges for Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees

Europe and TurkeyOctober 6, 2014 – Reported by urb.im – Media coverage of conflicts and forced migration has created a stereotypical depiction of a “refugee” – a grief-stricken woman, holding a sickly child next to a tent. While we are all familiar with this image, it does not characterize most refugees.

Only about one-third of refugees live in refugee camps, according to UNHCR [1]. Like most of us, most refugees live in urban environments. The lure of the city – the search for a better future that is the basis of rural to urban migration – is not confined by legal status or citizenship. Because of their size, cities offer a variety of resources which refugees can potentially benefit from, including more informal economic opportunities. Cities also provide refugees with a sense of needed anonymity even as they provide emotional and financial support networks. Importantly, cities often host high concentrations of a given country’s sexual and gender minorities.

However, cities can also be dangerous. Refugees often experience hostility from locals who perceive them as competition for scarce work with access to preferential treatment from humanitarian and governmental agencies. Many refugees suffer ongoing exploitation because they lack legal status. Those who do not live on the streets often reside in squalid dwellings…

via Urban Challenges for Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees | urb.im.

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