LGBTQ+ advocates and activists have denounced the Conservative Party government for failing to support LGBT asylum seekers. (Getty Images/Dan Kitwood)
The Conservative government has been accused of “failing to stand up” in favor of the LGBTQ+ community as it emerged that the Home Office granted fewer than 700 LGB asylum applications in 2021.
home office datareleased Thursday (August 25), revealed that only 677 people were granted asylum or other forms of leave based on sexual orientation claims in 2021 (the data identified only gay claims).
This was out of 1,050 initial decisions, with the number covering many cases brought in previous years.
The government indicated that these asylum seekers may not necessarily be granted protection on the basis of the sexual orientation portion of their applications. Others may have been granted protection on another basis.
While the rate of accepted claims increased by 43 per cent compared to 2019, claims decreased overall in 2021.
415 LGBT asylum claims were lodged in the UK in 2021, 77 per cent lower than in 2019. Total asylum claims rose 36 per cent in the same period.
More than 100 of the successful asylum applications were from LGBT people fleeing Pakistan Criminalize LGBTQ+ people. Pakistan criminalizes same-sex sexual activity between men, and the maximum penalty is life imprisonment or the death penalty. The Ministry of Interior has granted asylum to dozens of LGBT people from Bangladesh, Nigeria, Iran, Uganda and Iraq.
Analysis of Home Office data by Liberal Democrats revealed that RThe Conservative government has returned 3,071 LGBT asylum seekers to countries where homosexuality is criminalized since 2017.
This includes 1,048 Pakistanis and 570 Bangladeshis, the party said, where homosexuals could face life imprisonment for sex. The Home Office also rejected applications from 381 Nigerians facing more than a decade in prison or death for homosexual acts.
Home Affairs spokesman Lieb Diem, Alistair Carmichael, said the government should do everything in its power to “help people who have been forced to flee violence and persecution just for who they are and who they love”.
“The UK must advance the cause of LGBT rights at home and abroad, and provide safe haven to those who need it,” Carmichael said.
He accused the Conservative government of “failing to stand up” for LGBT rights and “returning thousands of people to countries where homosexuality is still against the law”, while calling for Prime Minister candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak hope to commit to ending the “horrific culture of infidelity towards gay, bisexual and transgender asylum seekers”.
Hostile environment may prevent refugees from trying to find safety in the UK
Sebastian Rocca, founder and CEO of the LGBTQ+ Micro Rainbow Asylum Charity, said: Pink News He was “surprised” to see the number of LGBTI asylum seekers decreased as the non-profit organization had a “continuous increase in requests for support year on year”.
Roca thought one factor could be that the Home Office figures “do not take into account transgender and non-binary people” seeking asylum in the UK.
“We received two emails from trans people who wanted to seek asylum, and decided to go to other countries because of the hostility the UK had become,” Roca said.
“It made me think: Is this [drop] Because they do not include everyone? Or is it because the UK is so notoriously hostile towards LGBTQ+ people that they don’t make it their preferred destination.”
Conservative government Cursing the Nationality and Borders Law It would tighten the already strict British immigration process and criminalize those entering the country without a valid visa or via what the government calls “irregular routes”.
Rocca said it was worrisome that the government was focusing on legislation on “how people get to the UK rather than why”.
“We look at the technical aspects rather than the humanity of the system,” Roca said. “So if you’re on a private jet on a visa, you’re fine – but if you fear for your life and you go and come illegally, you will be punished.”
Robbie De Santos, director of communications and external affairs at Stonewall, urged the government to “demonstrate international leadership in supporting LGBT asylum seekers” fleeing violence, persecution and criminalization.
“We want to see all asylum seekers in the UK treated with respect and dignity,” de Santos said. “The UK government must act to end the detention of LGBTI asylum seekers, and ensure that all detained individuals have access to free, quality legal support.”
there was widespread anger In May when the Home Office announced it would send refugees arriving via the English Channel to Rwanda – despite acknowledging evidence that LGBTI refugees could face persecution in the country.
In 2020, a gay Malaysian man was denied asylum due to persecution of homosexuals by Ministry of Interior officials Because he didn’t have a boyfriend. A Zimbabwean lesbian was subjected to similar persecution Five stressful years and endless interviews To convince the Ministry of the Interior that she is gay and needs asylum.
Tia Brown, CEO of the Human Dignity Trust, explained that gay, transgender, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) people live in a “contact of fear of violence and discrimination” in many 70 jurisdictions around the world that criminalize intimacy between the same person. consensual sex.
“Many courts around the world have held that where these laws are applied in practice, this clearly amounts to persecution for purposes of asylum protection,” Brown said.
She continued, “A broader understanding of the daily impact these laws have on people’s lives, even when they are not effectively enforced, is also vital.
“Many people are faced with such harsh realities that fleeing their families, jobs, society and everything they know may be the only option.”