Australia: Kaleidoscope Australia develops guide for LGBTI refugees

Human rights organisation Kaleidoscope Australia has developed the first guide of its kind to processing LGBTI refugees, intended to provide governments, refugee advocates, and NGOs with a basic introductory tool. President of Kaleidoscope Australia Dr Paula Gerber said, “Our hope is that this guide will assist governments around the world to properly and fairly assess applications for refugee status based on sexual orientation or gender identity grounds.”

A 2012 survey on attitudes towards LBGTI refugees and asylum seekers found that around 175 million LGBTI people were living in places where they faced persecution. From that number, the report projects that of the 5000 that apply for asylum, less than 3000 are granted protection each year.

Concerns have been raised where refugees seeking asylum for persecution based on sexuality have been confronted with the task of having to “prove” their sexuality. The process has involved refugees seeking and presenting video or photographic evidence of their participating in sexual acts in order to make credible their claims. The guide covers procedures of “ascertaining credibility” in a respectful manner, and dealing with applicants who are uncomfortable or who have not disclosed their sexual orientation.  Read More