Equal Treatment for LGBT Asylum Seekers in the UK Asylum System

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2013 National LGBT Conference
23 July 2013

Conference notes that consensual acts between same-sex adults are criminalised in 80 United Nations member states and homosexuality results in the death penalty in 6 of these countries. Of the 54 states in the Commonwealth, homosexual activity remains a criminal offence in 41 of the 54 nations.

Conference further notes that the picture for transgender people across the world is equally bleak.

Transgender Europe reported that from January 2008 to November 2011, 681 transgender people fell victim to hate-related or sexually-motivated murder.

In many countries, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) comrades face torture, imprisonment, rape and execution from people in their own communities, or at the hands of their governments.

LGBT people can seek sanctuary in the United Kingdom (UK), but many are not given protection, because of outdated assumptions and fundamental errors of judgement made by UK Border Agency staff and asylum judges about sexual orientation and gender.

Stonewall and the Scottish Refugee Council have reported on almost systemic LGBT-phobia in the UK asylum system, resulting in legitimate LGBT asylum seekers regularly being refused sanctuary in the UK. Our LGBT comrades, who have suffered rape, torture, imprisonment and been threatened with death, continue to be returned to their home countries to face further persecution.

Conference calls on the National LGBT Committee to put pressure on the Home Office to ensure that all appropriate staff, case handlers and judges are properly informed and trained to handle the cases of LGBT asylum seekers fairly. We further call on all branches and regions to support relevant campaigns and activities in support of LGBT asylum rights.