Refugees: LGBTIQ: Government wants better protection for queer asylum seekers

So far, German authorities have been examining whether an asylum seeker could keep their sexual identity secret in their home country. That will now be deleted.

The federal government wants to protect queer refugees better. According to information from our editorial team, corresponding service instructions are currently being implemented at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) and should apply from October.

In future, when it comes to the “risk assessment” for a refugee in their home country, the Bamf should always assume as part of the asylum procedure that the person “openly lives out” their sexual orientation or gender identity in their country of origin, as the revised service instructions should say.

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According to its own statements, the federal government wants to make it clear that LGBTIQ people seeking protection may under no circumstances be referred to a “discreet life in the country of origin” and that an application for asylum will be rejected on this basis – and they may then be deported.

“Reasonably” it should not be expected that the applicant “keeps his sexual orientation secret in his country of origin”, according to the new version of the Bamf service instructions for asylum decisions. This should also apply if a person seeking protection states that they want to keep their sexual identity a secret in their home country.

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According to information from our editorial team, the Federal Office trains the asylum decision-makers in how to deal with LGBTIQ refugees, also involving non-governmental organizations. In addition, specially trained decision-makers are involved in gender-specific persecution.

During the asylum procedure, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intergender refugees must demonstrate that they are being persecuted in their homeland because of their sexuality. At the Federal Office, those seeking protection go through a two-stage examination in which the Bamf also checks how refugees “behave” when they return to their country of origin.

The lesbian and gay association had repeatedly sharply criticized the asylum practice

This so-called “behavioural prognosis” should be deleted according to the new service instructions. “No forecast may be made as to how important the applicant’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity is and whether the corresponding lifestyle is an indispensable part of the applicant’s personal identity,” it will say in the future.

Of the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) had sharply criticized individual asylum decisions by the Federal Office in the past and spoke of a “contemptuous” practice in relation to the “behavioural prognosis”. LGBTIQ protection seekers. As early as 2013, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had criticized the asylum authorities in a judgment for dealing with lesbian and gay refugees.

The federal government of SPD, Greens and FDP had announced in the coalition agreement that asylum procedures would be reviewed with a view to queer victims of persecution. Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) informed the members of the Bundestag about the new instructions for the Bamf on Tuesday morning.

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