The Asile LGBT association welcomes and accompanies LGBTI+ refugees (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, + other non-heterosexual and non-cisgender sex, gender and/or sexuality identities)
Asylum claims related to sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) have been on the rise in recent years. In Switzerland, there are no specific statistics for these asylum applications; we don’t know how many LGBTI+ refugees live there, or under what conditions. The specialized NGO ORAM estimates these requests at around 5% of total asylum requests, i.e. 900 LGBTI+ people arriving in Switzerland in 2017, 1,360 in 2016, 1,975 in 2015.
However, LGBTI+ people seeking protection remain largely invisible, both in associations working with refugees and in institutions in charge of welcoming and supporting people in the field of asylum. , or in LGBTI+ associations and communities.
While LGBTI+ people, like refugees, are still widely stigmatized and discriminated against in Switzerland and often live in disadvantaged material and psychosocial conditions, the dual profile of LGBTI+ refugees exposes them to specific situations of vulnerabilities.
In 2016, the beating of a young gay refugee in a collective hostel had highlighted this invisibility of LGBTI+ refugees to the various Geneva actors as well as their difficulties in understanding the specific needs of this group and therefore to give appropriate answers.