LGBTI refugees are facing sexual harassment, rape, and abuse in accommodation provided while applying for UK citizenship, Micro Rainbow International says.
In response, they are launching a new scheme to combat this opening safe houses exclusively for vulnerable LGBTI refugees.
Over a 1000 people come to the UK to seek asylum from the 70 countries that still criminalize being gay.
But some applying for citizenship face discrimination in the accommodation they stay in.
MRI’s Founder and CEO, Sebastian Rocca is calling the new project a missing link in the support they already offer.
‘Refugees are often housed with other asylum seekers from countries they fled from. They are often as homophobic as the ones who persecuted them back home,’ Rocca tells Gay Star News. ‘As a result, MRI receives regular reports of sexual harassment, physical and mental abuse. We are also aware that some reported even rape.’
One of the first refugees to stay in the house Maria, cried with relief when she got to the safe house.
‘I suffered physical and sexual harassment on a regular basis in the accommodation I was given as an asylum seeker. Someone threw a pot at me once.
‘I just could not sleep properly, I was always on the lookout for someone to try to hurt me.’
MRI says many LGBTI refugees opt to be homeless to avoid these terrifying situations. Rocca explains to GSN that this opens them up to more exploitation. However, it is difficult to track this because the abuse often comes from people they share accommodation with. Read more via Gay Star News