Centre for LGBT asylum seekers to open in Berlin following spate of attacks

Berlin is to open a centre for over a hundred LGBT asylum seekers.

The centre will be run by Schwulenberatung, a gay rights organisation in Berlin.

It will cater for 125 LGBT asylum seekers, out of an estimated 3,500.

A need arose for an LGBT-specific centre, as abuse against LGBT asylum seekers has been on the rise amid a wider refugee crisis.

“We have heard a lot of stories about discrimination and crimes against LGBT people in the last two years,” the organisation’s manager in charge of refugee affairs, Stephan Jakel, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday.

“They were frightened and scared after being beaten or spat on, and one survived a murder attempt. We heard a lot of horrible stories.”

Germany took on the most refugees in Europe in 2015, with over a million arriving, from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Most seek asylum following poverty and war.

Thomson Reuters notes 95 cases of violence against LGBT people, the majority of which took place inside centres for refugees and asylum seekers.

The cases noted include sexual assaults, insults, threats and coercion, as well as physical violence.

The centre will provide a home for LGBT asylum seekers for as long as they need, said Jakel.

Five gay refugees were rehoused in the Netherlands last month after being threatened by fellow refugees.