A newly published report paints a harsh picture of the experience of LGBT asylum seekers in UK detention centres.
No Safe Refuge
The report, entitled No Safe Refuge, contains in-depth interviews with 22 asylum seekers who have been held in one or more of the existing nine UK detention centres. All of the asylum seekers have suffered persecution in their home countries because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The testimonies of their subsequent treatment in the UK are shocking and call for urgent action by the government.
The asylum seekers’ experience suggests that:
- staff in detention centres are ill-equipped to meet the needs of LGBT people or to protect them from harassment from fellow detainees;
- LGBT asylum seekers feel forced to hide their identity, for fear of abuse;
- detainees who were known to be LGBT were bullied, harassed or physically attacked by other detainees;
- there is insufficient access to medication, such as anti-depressants and HIV-drugs;
- many of the LGBT asylum seekers have also suffered rape and torture in their country of origin, yet they are still detained, despite the Home Office agreeing that people who have suffered such abuse should not be placed in detention.
The Way Forward
Stonewall and UKLGIG continue to campaign for the government to address the treatment LGBT asylum seekers are subjected to in UK detention centres.
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For more information read these posts:
- Top 50 cases: You Don’t Have To Hide
- Feature: A Brief History Of Homophobia
- Infographic: What Human Rights Do For Those Seeking Refuge
- Explainer: On World Refugee Day, What Is A Refugee And How Are They Protected?