3 1/2 years
after "Failing the Grade", UKLGIG has published a further
in-depth report into decision making on Lesbian, Gay
(Bisexual, Trans and Intersex) asylum claims.
grateful to all those who contributed to the report, in
particular: Lord Avebury,
Keina Yoshida, Erin Power, Catherine Robinson, AbsolutQueer
Photography ... and the asylum seekers whose cases were used
in the review.
The UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) is a charity
that promotes equality and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and
(LGBTI) people who seek asylum in the UK, or who wish to immigrate here
to be with their same-sex partner.
The organisation was created in 1993, as Stonewall Immigration
Group, by same sex couples and their lawyers to share information, lobby for change
and inform and advise lesbians and gay men wanting to remain together in the UK
on the basis of their relationship. Effective lobbying of New Labour while still
in opposition resulted - after their election - in what was almost certainly
the first equality initiative by any British government, the "unmarried
partners concession". At the outset in 1997, 4 yrs of prior cohabitation was
required to qualify, reducing to 2 years in 1999, with the concession
becoming law in 2000. In November 2004, the Civil Partnership Bill was passed. Once this legislation
came into use in December 2005, it ensured equal immigration rights for same sex couples.
Since 2003, the focus of the group has been on assisting those who seek refuge
in the UK from countries where LGBTI people are persecuted.
UKLGIG celebrate their 20 year anniversary in 2013 proud of their
contribution towards immigration equality for lesbians and gay men in the
UK, but well aware that our work is not yet done.
Around the world 80 countries consider
homosexuality illegal, in five of these the death penalty can apply.
Moreover, the persecution experienced by LGBT people goes well
beyond any official prosecutions. The violence, humiliation,
inequality and discrimination many LGBT people face, can be enacted
by state officials, but is also often experienced within their own
communities and families without any recourse to protection. UKLGIG
assists LGBT people who have come to the UK to seek a safe haven from persecution, and
supports LGBT activists who are working to change the attitudes and
legislation in their home countries.
Our asylum related
Supporting LGBT asylum seekers:
providing support & information via our helpline and in person;
referring to solicitors; organising a monthly support meeting;
visiting detention centres and running other social support
Research & Policy: monitoring and researching
relevant (legal) developments and issues; researching human rights
in countries of origin; working to ensure LGBT people are treated
equally and with dignity in the asylum process; seeking to improve
the quality of UKBA decision making, and networking with
organisations and individuals working on related issues in UK and
Training & Information:
providing training and information on LGBT asylum issues to relevant
service providers in the refugee and LGBT community, solicitors and
other legal advisers, UKBA
staff and the judiciary.
We also continue our same-sex partner immigration work
by providing support and information via our website, an online
forum and a monthly meeting, as well as
monitoring legal and policy developments and responding to these as
and when required.
|** NEW PARTNERSHIP RULES from
summary of the new rules is now posted
Lawyers at the
meetings will cover the main issues regarding the
new rules affecting partners, and will answer general
questions. You are welcome to attend !