Through the work of our expert LGBTIQA+ Refugee and Asylum Seeker advisory group, we have developed a list of key issues. These include:
- Connecting with other LGBTIQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in Australia – they find it very difficult to connect with each other
- Information access – they also find it very difficult to access information about where to find queer and intersex inclusion support, how to navigate the system, how to effectively seek asylum.
- Services for asylum seeker and refugees have little or no knowledge about the specific issues faced by LGBTIQ+ people using their services. People rarely come out while accessing these services for fear of discrimination, and of being outed to their family or community.
- Immigration processes are inherently unfair as LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers are required to prove their identity, which is often impossible as they have lived covert lives in their countries of origin due to criminalisation of LGBTQ+ status.
In order to best respond to these challenges with the funds we have available, we have decided to focus the initial pool of funds we raised during our end of financial year fundraiser, on developing nationally accessible, targeted LGBTIQ+ sensitivity training for the refugee service sector.
We will also be developing a webpage to enable both access to the training materials and to facilitate information sharing for LGBTIQ+ refugees.