Question to the Home Office:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to address the specific experiences and needs of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and to ensure that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are not penalised in their asylum applications in the event that they do not reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity immediately upon arrival.
The Home Office has and continues to work closely with a diverse range of organisations specialising in asylum and human rights protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people (LGBTQ+) communities, not only to facilitate the development of bespoke guidance and training products but also to further our work for LGBTQ+ within our asylum system.
We ensure that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are signposted to relevant NGOs specialising in the support of these individuals. This is done through an information leaflet given to all asylum claimants at the point of claim which includes sections on legal advice, additional help and assistance with links to relevant legal bodies and support organisations. LGBTQ+ asylum seekers can also access support from Rainbow Migration (formerly the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group), who provide both practical and emotional support for LGBTQ+ people including how to help improve their confidence and self-esteem and to reduce isolation.
The Home Office recognises that discussing persecution may often be distressing and those seeking asylum are given every opportunity to disclose information relevant to their claim before a decision is taken. Our caseworkers are very mindful that many asylum seekers come from cultures which shun any open expression or discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity. We recognise that the intimate nature of disclosure set against the individual’s cultural background may have made it difficult for some to disclose and discuss their sexuality or gender identity with officials at a port of entry.
Where it appears that a claimant has been in the UK for a prolonged period of time before either coming to immigration attention or voluntarily seeking protection, this will be explored with the claimant. Consideration will be given to any explanation offered for not seeking protection at the first available opportunity, or for not disclosing the issue of sexuality or gender identity as a claim basis at the first available opportunity. Adverse inference however will not solely be drawn from someone not having immediately identified their sexual or gender identity as a basis to their claim.
1. Written evidence submitted by the Say it Loud Club (NBB10)
22/09/2021 - Bill Documents
Found: organisation led by
and supporting LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in the UK
Who we are:
2. Written evidence submitted by Mermaids (NBB15)
24/09/2021 - Bill Documents
Found: genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, are of non-Western gender identities, and those who have a trans history
3. UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group - written evidence
01/05/2018 - Inquiry: Immigration detention - Home Affairs Committee
- View source
Found: queer and intersex + (LGBTQI+) people through the asylum and immigration process. We provide one-to-one
Found: information (COI) and analysis of COI for use by
Home Office decision makers handling particular types
Found: News and communications
1. LGBTQ+ Afghan Refugees
21/09/2021 - Westminster Hall
1: operation in Afghanistan?There is a long history of LGBTQ+ people in Afghanistan being disproportionately - Speech Link
2: subjected to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic sexual violence, forced marriages, honour killings, conversion - Speech Link
3: they make. Do they agree that doing transfers of LGBTQ Afghans into such countries must be done extremely - Speech Link
2. Nationality and Borders Bill (Ninth sitting)
26/10/2021 - Public Bill Committees
1: morning, ladies and gentlemen. Before we start, I ask Members to ensure that their electronic devices are - Speech Link
2: practice—(i) appropriate reception arrangements for asylum seekers;(ii) sufficient protection against serious - Speech Link
3: whose asylum claim has been denied by virtue of their connection to a particular safe third State may be - Speech Link
3. Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Women’s Health Inequalities
10/03/2020 - Commons Chamber
1: and to make it easier for communities to support LGBTQ women.Up front, I will declare an interest as a - Speech Link
2: thoughts those lesbian, bi and trans women who are asylum seekers and have been asked by this Government to prove - Speech Link
3: stories in the press at the moment about LGBT asylum seekers that are hugely concerning, and I would like - Speech Link
4. Nationality and Borders Bill (Tenth sitting)
26/10/2021 - Public Bill Committees
1: period—within which to access legal advice and to inform the Home Office of any grounds or evidence that they want - Speech Link
5. Pride Month
01/07/2021 - Commons Chamber