Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

Survey indicates NGOs often fail to adequately protect LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers

Posted by Christopher Coen on June 21, 2012

The first survey of attitudes of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) serving asylum-seekers and refugees worldwide indicates that they often fail to adequately protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees and asylum seekers. NGOs are placing these refugees and asylum seekers in housing where they are exposed to violence, and the refugees and asylum seekers are often compelled to hide the true reason they were persecuted, thus putting their legal status based on persecution in jeopardy. The survey, done by the Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration and Indiana University sociologists, is discussed in an article in the Windy City Times:

SAN FRANCISCO — As increasing numbers of refugees flee persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration and Indiana University sociologists have released the first survey of attitudes of non-governmental organizations serving asylum-seekers and refugees worldwide.

NGOs provide crucial support and protection for refugees, including essential medical, legal, housing and educational services. The survey, co-authored by researchers in the Department of Sociology in IU Bloomington’s College of Arts and Sciences, found that NGOs often fail to adequately protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex refugees and asylum seekers. Many NGOs ignore the refugees’ plights or are ill-equipped to work with LGBTI people. Those gaps were identified across the globe but were starkest in countries where protection is most needed…

Neil Grungras, executive director of ORAM, said refugees fleeing persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity face further harm from the culture of silence in the international refugee protection system.

“They are placed in housing where they are exposed to violence, or are compelled to hide the true reason they were persecuted, which puts their legal status in jeopardy,” he said. “Among the most pervasively and violently persecuted in the world, LGBTI individuals are virtually invisible in the international refugee protection realm.”

IU sociologist Oren Pizmony-Levy described a “vicious cycle.”

“Many NGOs do not welcome LGBTI refuges, and the asylum seekers don’t approach them,” he said. “NGOs think that persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity is not serious, and NGOs tend to overlook the problem.”… Read more here

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One Response to “Survey indicates NGOs often fail to adequately protect LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers”

  1. The NGO’s should have a committee in their offices so that can discuss how to promote the awareness of LGBTI and have support refugees who flee .. Let’s help those people. They need us!!!!!!!!

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