The problematic conditions experienced by LGBTQ asylum seekers and refugees was revealed by a survey on Monday, including vague directions during the asylum application and examination process, precarious housing situations, discrimination in the workplace or public services, and attacks from fellow refugees.
The survey was conducted by the Transgender Support Association and was presented digitally on Monday by the president of the Association, Marina Galanou. The survey, which polled LGBTQ asylum seekers and refugees but also the professional social workers who work with them, is the first completed survey on LGBTQ individuals applying for international protection as well as recognized refugees.
“Multiple stigmas and often invisible”, said Galanou when describing this group of people. This invisibility is evident in the limited information available and records on racially motivated attacks on LGBTQ refugees and migrants.
This was confirmed by the assistant co-ordinator of the Network for Recording Cases of Racist Violence, Garyfalia Anastasopoulou, who stated that from 2014, when the Network recorded the first instance of violence against an LGBTQ refugee, until 2020, recorded violence against this group accounts for less than 8% of the total recorded incidents of racially motivated violence.
There were 17 asylum applicants and recognized refugees participating in the survey, who had applied for asylum for reasons of sexual orientation or gender identity (10 for sexual orientation and seven for gender identity).
The survey was conducted as part of the wider “LGBTI+ Refugees in Greece – The EU-Turkey deal and Beyond”, funded by the Open Society Foundations.