Which countries accept gay refugees?
LGBTQI - when sexual orientation or gender identity forces you to flee
There are also well-documented cases of governments unwilling or unable to protect LGBTI + people from targeted violence, e.g. by criminal gangs or even the local police. People who flee from such conditions must be protected as refugees.
Does every country accept LGBTQI + refugees?
Article 1 of the Geneva Refugee Convention and thus the UNHCR directive is clear: international law recognizes this as a valid asylum application.
Most people who apply for refugee status receive immediate protection based on the situation in the country they fled from rather than an individual application. Some of the individuals seeking protection based on an individual application have done so citing persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Most of these cases have occurred in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States. Courts in these countries have generally agreed that the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees of 1951 protects people fleeing violence or persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The UNHCR has no global figures on how many people have applied for protection as refugees on this basis. Many governments have not compiled detailed data. At the same time, it is sometimes only noted in the case files that the applicant seeks protection under the clause "certain social group" (or in very rare cases political opinion or religion) without indicating gender identity or sexual orientation.
What is UNHCR doing to help LGBTQI + refugees?
The UNHCR has undertaken to treat all people with respect and dignity and requires its employees to adhere to a code of conduct and trains employees and partners on this topic.
Unfortunately, LGBTI + refugees are often exposed to the same threats in their country of asylum as in their homeland. However, UNHCR is committed to ensuring that they are safe and have access to their rights and basic services such as health care wherever they are.
There are different ways we try to help refugees get back to a regular life. Integration in the host country is one of these possibilities. We work with governments and local partners to fully enable them to participate in social life, such as access to services and support options. Other options include resettlement in a safe third country or returning to their home country, provided that conditions improve to the point that it is safe for them.
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