On Dec 9, 2015 Pink News reported: The government has confirmed that LGBT refugees in Syria will be among ‘at risk’ groups eligible for resettlement in the UK.
The PM confirmed in September that the UK would take in 20,000 refugees from the Syria conflict over the next five years – with vulnerable refugees selected from camps in the region.
As the government puts plans together for its Resettlement Scheme, Labour’s Mary Creagh has called for vulnerable LGBT refugees to be given priority alongside other at-risk groups.
After Lib Dem peer Lord Scriven also raised the issue in Parliament, the Home Office this week confirmed that the “vulnerability criteria” for the process will take into account sexual orientation and gender identity.
Home Office minister Lord Bates said: “The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR’s) vulnerability criteria for identifying refugees under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme include persons at risk due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, and LGBTI refugees are identified through their normal screening procedures.
The vulnerability criteria include “survivors of violence and/or torture; refugees with legal and/or physical protection needs; refugees with medical needs or disabilities; children and adolescents at risk; persons at risk due to their sexual orientation or gender identity; and refugees with family links in resettlement countries.”
The terrorist group know as Daesh/Islamic State have publicly executed dozens of gay men across Iraq and Syria, with local LGBT communities often forced to flee for their lives.
Paul Dillane of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, said: “This is welcome news, UKLGIG has been calling on the UK Government to commit to resettling and protecting LGBTI refugees from Syria for some months.
“Resettlement is often the only durable solution to guarantee the safety of LGBTI people due to the grave dangers many experience in refugee camps and places of displacement.’