- 2015 National LGBT Conference
- 21 July 2015
Conference notes the human rights abuse perpetrated within the country of origin of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who make asylum applications in the United Kingdom (UK). Upon return to their homeland there would be a good chance they would be unable to live a fulfilled life, even facing the death penalty or life in prison. With that in mind still 98-99% of asylum applicants are declined. LGBT asylum seekers should to be treated in a dignified manner by all agencies. Highlighting difficulties facing asylum applications is paramount.
Conference notes that many LGBT asylum seekers are faced with an unacceptable level of embarrassment and undignified harassment to prove their sexual orientation and gender identity to the Home Office. On some occasions this will be the first time they have spoken to someone in authority about their sexuality or gender orientation. Recognition of LGBT asylum claims is typically rooted in the category (particular social group), reliant on human rights campaigners and solidarity from the LGBT community for access to legal advice and lawyers to end this injustice, whereby many genuine LGBT asylum seekers are being sent back to viciously anti-LGBT countries like Iran, Uganda, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Jamaica and Saudi Arabia.
This conference therefore condemns the lengths LGBT asylum seekers need to go to prove their sexual orientation and gender identity. In a recent case a woman was advised that she could not belong to the social group called lesbians due to her having a child, therefore infringing her human rights to have a family life. Asylum seekers have been told to go back home and be “discreet”.
As it stands, present protocol by the Home Office:
1. Severely restricts applications for those being unable to prove their sexual orientation, partly due to them not being able to be out in their country of origin;
2. Does not acknowledge people their human rights to have a family – the right to be respected and have a family life;
This is an attack on LGBT asylum seekers’ human rights of access to asylum and a fair trial. Asylum in this country should mean that the human rights of all are respected and everyone can live in equality and freedom to express their sexuality.
3. Sees bisexuality as choosing not to be lesbian/gay full time.
This Conference therefore calls on the national LGBT committee to:
A. Continue to work with Labour Link to campaign for the Labour Party to oppose these degrading practises, as promised in their recent LGBT manifesto;
B. Encourage regions and branches to join ILGA Europe and to promote their work;
C. Work with our sister unions internationally to challenge these injustices so people do not have to leave their homeland for safety in this country.