IRC Submission on the National LGBTI Inclusion Strategy

Posted On: 10 January 2019

The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) provides direct support to asylum seekers and refugees at every stage of the Irish international protection process. These services include advice and information provision through a free drop-in service; early legal advice through the IRC’s Independent Law Centre and holistic integration supports through dedicated programmes on access to education, housing and employment.

Through these services we encounter and assist international protection applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds, each person presenting with complex issues and particular needs. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers and refugees face a significant gap in protection and fulfilment of basic needs, both in the context of reception conditions and throughout the international protection decision making procedures.

In our work with LGBT asylum seekers, through both individual case work and involvement in other policy and advocacy activities such as facilitating the Identity Peer-Support Group and consultation with LGBT asylum seekers for research projects, it has become clear that LGBT asylum seekers and refugees are an excluded group in both the asylum seeking and Irish LGBT communities.

This submission aims to highlight some areas of concern that should be incorporated into the National LGBT Inclusion Strategy if the strategy is to be genuinely ‘inclusive’ of all members of the LGBT community in Ireland. The examples and recommendations provided herein are by no means an exhaustive overview of the issues, nor do they purport to be representative of the needs of LGBT asylum seekers and refugees as a whole, but rather reflect trends emerging from the IRC’s casework and direct engagement with people in the asylum process.

Read our Submission