LGBT refugees fear violence

LGBTQI refugees are not seeking extra help because they fear revealing their sexual or gender identity can put them in danger.

Refugees fleeing from war torn countries such as Syria are hiding their identity because they fear being attacked, or even killed.

The Organisation for Refugee, Asylum & Migration (ORAM) works with vulnerable refugees who are fleeing war to get to safer countries.

Neil Grungas, Executive Director of ORAM said: “People are just absolutely terrified to come out, and rightly so, they will be dead, they will be dead if they come out.”

“The number of LGBT people who make it through the system alive and request resettlements is small, it does not even reach the tip of the percentage of LGBTQI people that are represented in the international population.”

“The consequence is severe hardship for people who’ve already fled some horrific trauma.” added Grungas.

Homophobic and transphobic attitudes circulate the refugee community – making LGBTQI refugees susceptible to abuse and isolation.

Grungas said that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is “very, very concerned” about the safety of LGBTQI refugees and has recently issues guidelines to ensure refugee’s identity information is being protected.

The UN predicts 170,000 resettlement places will be available in 2017, but 1.19 million refugees are considered eligible for resettlement – an even smaller percentage of the more than 60 million people that have been displaced globally.

There are hopes that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Barack Obama are planning two summits to be held in September at the UN to find ways the international community can increase resettlement places.

Help and support with finding a new home is not always being offered to refugees, and so they are turning to other means to eat and live. Refugees in Greece are turning to sex work to support themselves financially as they have been stranded due to restrictive border control.

LGBTQI people are still in danger, and refugee’s are especially susceptible. The Orlando massacre saw over 100 LGBT people killed and injured. A further 100 transgender people have been killed so far this year, including a transgender activist in Pakistan.