Protecting persons with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities

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This report is relevant for humanitarian practitioners working with refugees, and especially for those involved in Refugee Status Determination, and for those working in internal operations for UNHCR; by focusing entirely on UNHCR's capacity to support the needs of LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers, this report places a much-needed emphasis on the capacity of responders.

This 2015 UNHCR report presents a global overview of UNHCR’s efforts to protect LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers in its work. The research project was undertaken between 2014-2015 across UNCHR’s 106 global offices. The project aimed to assess the efficacy with which UNHCR offices are able to identify and support LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers; conduct Refugee Status Determination (RSD) interviews and create durable solutions; address unique protection challenges; and advocate for a favourable protection environment for LGBTI persons of concern.

The report opens with a background on LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers before moving into the objectives, notes on methodology and methods; a discussion of legal and social/cultural contexts follows. The report then presents findings on the research objectives, starting with identification of LGBTI refugees. Overall, roughly two-thirds of all offices have an identification mechanism in place. The report then looks at the displacement concerns of LGBTI persons of concern, noting that many LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers are subjected to severe social and cultural discrimination. Asylum and durable solutions are then considered before looking at training for UNHCR staff on supporting LGBTI persons of concern. The final findings section considers advocacy and the best ways to be successful in advocacy work. Best Practice case studies are shared throughout the report. The report concludes with recommendations for a path forward.

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"Responses revealed that LGBTI individuals are frequently at risk while held in immigration detention facilities."

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This 2015 UNHCR report presents a global overview of UNHCR’s efforts to protect LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers in its work. The research project was undertaken between 2014-2015 across UNCHR’s 106 global offices. The project aimed to assess the efficacy with which UNHCR offices are able to identify and support LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers; conduct Refugee Status Determination (RSD) interviews and create durable solutions; address unique protection challenges; and advocate for a favourable protection environment for LGBTI persons of concern.

The report opens with a background on LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers before moving into the objectives, notes on methodology and methods; a discussion of legal and social/cultural contexts follows. The report then presents findings on the research objectives, starting with identification of LGBTI refugees. Overall, roughly two-thirds of all offices have an identification mechanism in place. The report then looks at the displacement concerns of LGBTI persons of concern, noting that many LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers are subjected to severe social and cultural discrimination. Asylum and durable solutions are then considered before looking at training for UNHCR staff on supporting LGBTI persons of concern. The final findings section considers advocacy and the best ways to be successful in advocacy work. Best Practice case studies are shared throughout the report. The report concludes with recommendations for a path forward.