A Struggle Ignored? The Multiple Oppressions of LGBT Refugees

On June 19, 2016 teleSUR reported:

Refugees are some of the most vulnerable people in the world, but we often forget just how diverse refugee populations are, and not just in terms of ethnic or religious background but also sexuality and gender identity. LGBT refugees can face even greater vulnerabilities in many areas including attempts to seek asylum and persecution in their own countries. They can also face greater risks when placed in immigration detention.

South America 2

It is no exaggeration to say that LGBT persons in many parts of the world face persecution, discrimination and violence because they may not fit — or be perceived to fit — into a society’s dominant conception of sexuality and gender identity. Many advocates have referred to these compounding vulnerabilities and risks as a “double marginalization/victimization.”

Indeed, LGBT persons often face direct discrimination from governments, the local and wider community, family and the workplace. Often, LGBT persons are threatened by direct violence related to their gender as well as the wider issues of violent conflict and war, natural disasters and the economic instability that forcibly displaces peoples in the first place.

In particular, the UNHCR says there are increasing numbers of LGBT persons fleeing the Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, statistically one of the most violent regions in the world, let alone for LGBT folk.

At least 594 LGBT persons were killed in the Americas between Jan. 2013 and March 2014. A further 176 were seriously assaulted, according to research by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

While the numbers for LGBT refugees are difficult to predict, there are currently 77 countries where consensual same-sex relations are criminalized, according to United Nations Free & Equal, an organization set-up to raise awareness and promote gender equality. As a result of this, the number of LGBT persons claiming asylum has steadily risen, according to the Rights in Exile Program.

Read more at: A Struggle Ignored? The Multiple Oppressions of LGBT Refugees | Analysis | teleSUR English

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