Stop the Deportation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Asylum Seekers

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2009 National LGBT Conference
18 September 2009

Conferences notes:

1. A number of recent cases in which LGBT asylum seekers have been deported or threatened with deportation to countries, including Iran and Nigeria, where homosexuality is treated as a crime punishable by sentences including the death penalty or where trans people face persecution and violence;

2. That the British Government has argued it would be acceptable for an LGBT asylum seeker to be deported to a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic state, as long as that individual behaved in a ‘discreet’ manner;

3. That the UK is a signatory to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which prohibits torture and the transfer, return or expulsion of persons to countries where there are substantial grounds for believing that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

Conference believes that:

A. Everyone should be treated equally under the Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity;

B. The suggestion that individuals should behave ‘discreetly’ to guarantee protection from harm is, in the 21st century, an inappropriate message for the British Government to send to the countries concerned and their people.

Conference therefore calls on the National LGBT Committee to work with partners such as the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) to lobby the UK Government:-

I. To halt the deportation of people to countries where their sexual orientation or gender identity may mean that they are threatened with the risk of imprisonment, torture, or even execution;

II. That acting discreetly is not an option open to LGBT asylum seekers facing persecution and is never acceptable grounds for refusing asylum to LGBT asylum seekers.