Special new information for transgender refugees26. December 2020
In recent years, the LGBTI refugee issue has gained significant visibility and attention. Nevertheless, the specific needs of transgender refugees have only been minimally considered in the development of consulting materials. As a result, Cologne’s LGBTI advisory office rubicon and the trans association Netzwerk Geschlechtliche Vielfalt Trans* NRW have developed a guide that targets specifically transgender refugees. The guide explains terminology, provides information on the steps towards transition that can be taken in Germany and lists helpful contacts to trans organizations and the trans community. LSVD project Queer Refugees Deutschland has adapted and translated this guide, so that the content is now available on its website in nine languages under the Trans+ section.
Besides reliable asylum process and accommodations information, many transgender persons need medical services in conjunction with their transition. However, while the asylum proceedings are ongoing, they only have limited access to medical services; all too often the medical services they need are therefore blocked. The expert evaluation Zugang zu trans*spezifischen medizinischen Leistungen für Personen im Asylverfahren recently published by the Schwulenberatung Berlin thus takes aim at the medical services entitlement of transgender persons from a legal perspective. Authors Dr. Lena Kreck and Maya Markwald present the legal grounds as to why transgender persons are entitled to full access to medical services they need in conjunction with their transition even while the asylum process is ongoing.
LSVD publishes a practical guide aiming at the protection of LGBTI refugees in shelters24. December 2020
The German-language guideline targets the employees at the shelters of the federal states and municipalities. Author Alva Träbert concisely explains how the provisions for the protection of LGBTI refugees of the German “Minimum Standards for the Protection of Refugees in Refugee Accommodations” can be implemented in practice. With this practical guideline, the LSVD hopes to give the shelter staff members “primarily practical proposals and helpful materials for their work with LGBTI refugees,” comment Henny Engels and Patrick Dörr on behalf of the LSVD board. The compilation of the guide was sponsored by the German Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). The guide is available for download and can also be ordered free of charge by sending an email to email@example.com.
Best Practices – The Eighth Nationwide Network Convention for Refugee LGBTIQ Activists in Germany9. December 2020
Overall, this year’s networking event was attended by 13 activists. They represented eight countries of origin and seven federal states. The event began with the participation in the PRIDE NOW – THE Cologne Pride SHOW. Intense debates on “Best Practices” in volunteer advocacy and activism followed on day two. This also gave the activists the opportunity to consult of process supporter and advisor Sandra Kleideiter and to share their experiences. On day three, the participation in the Pride bicycle demo was one of the agenda items. In a workshop facilitated the previous day, a speech was developed by the group under the direction of Ina Wolf. During the closing ceremony, it was published by the QRD activists and presented to an audience of more than 3,000 as well as the media. It covered the problems in the asylum system and the actions that have to be taken from their perspective to eliminate them. The networking event concluded with a get-together at Cologne’s Arttheater.
Articles on LGBTI+ refugees now publicly available7. October 2020
In its decision of 22 January 2020, the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) refers to the ECJ ruling of 7 November 2013. In this ruling, the European Court of Justice stipulated that asylum authorities may not point out to gay and lesbian asylum seekers that they could keep their sexuality secret or exercise restraint in expressing it. The decision of the Constitutional Court can now also be referred to in applications for permission to appeal against judgments of administrative courts. The decision also makes it clear that the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the courts in the same way may not advise bisexual persons to consider the possibility of living in secret.
In its decision of 4 December 2019, on the other hand, the German Federal Constitutional Court comments on the requirements for examining the admission of a follow-up application. If applicants submit substantiated and credible evidence of changed circumstances, “it is sufficient to open the possibility of a more favourable decision.” The further assessment of the probability of persecution in these cases must be carried out in the follow-up application itself and not in the decision on the admission of the follow-up application.
In the 10-11/2019 issue of Asylmagazin, Alva Träbert and Patrick Dörr had already examined the topics of LGBTI+ refugees and protection against violence and LGBTI+ refugees in asylum procedures in detail and provided numerous legal and practical tips for working with LGBTI refugees.