November 8, 2014 – Reported by MedicalXpress – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers – including those living with HIV – face a lack of specialist support and services in the UK, according to a study by the University of Liverpool.
This group of asylum seekers come to Britain in order to escape considerable prejudice in their own countries. However, new research shows that many experience humiliating questioning by Home Office case workers, and some are even asked for graphic evidence to prove their sexuality.
Asylum seekers are already a vulnerable and marginalised group of people. A dispersal centre for asylum seekers since 1999, Liverpool is one of only two cities in the UK where people can seek asylum.
The research was caried out in partnership with Sahir House, a charity which provides services to people living with and affected by HIV in Merseyside and North Cheshire.
Provision of relevant services
Jennifer New, from the University’s Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, said: “Understanding LGBT peoples’ experiences of the asylum process and relevant support services is vital in order to push for change in the service provision that is available to LGBT people seeking asylum and refugees in Liverpool and Merseyside.”
“As one of the key areas for asylum dispersal, Liverpool must show its acceptance and sensitivity towards people seeking asylum who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, including those who are HIV positive, and support organisations must work together to improve the support provision that is available for these highly vulnerable groups in the future.”…