Practical Guide to the Reception of LGBTIQ+ Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europe

November 2022
PDF version

The Rainbow Welcome consortium has just published a practical guide for social workers and field workers in contact with LGBTIQ+ refugees and asylum seekers. This guide, available in 6 languages, is divided into three parts: a reminder of the general legal aspects of asylum-seeking, the issue of LGBTIQ+ communities and the support and response to their specific needs.

The legislative study "The Reception of LGBTIQ+ Refugees in Europe" developed earlier in the project is a prerequisite for a better understanding of how LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers are received in the consortium countries and is part of a broader analysis of their needs and existing practices in this regard. The study shows that gaps and difficulties remain in the reception responses of the European institutions and Member States.

This is why we are proposing a practical guide for social workers and, more broadly, for those working in the field, whether they are volunteers or employees, who provide day-to-day support to asylum seekers. This guide enables you to:

  • Identify a situation of discrimination and its consequences;
  • Deconstruct stereotypes linked to the LGBTIQ+ issue, and provide information and answers on LGBTIQ+ issues;
  • Raising awareness of the specific needs of LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers and refugees;
  • Orienting and informing LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers about their rights;
  • Give special attention to transgender and intersex people;
  • To give the keys to sensitise other residents in the reception centres to prevent violence;
  • To offer a practical and comprehensive training with complementary but individual modules.

With this guide, the partners try to bring a new vision on the situation of LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers and the persecution, discrimination, abuse and violence they face on a daily basis in countries of origin, transit and asylum because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and gendered characteristics (SOGEIC) that do not fit the dominant socio-cultural norms.  

This guide brings together the experience and expertise of the Rainbow Welcome project partners, coupled with the synthesis of the various documents and resources available, as well as the diagnosis and interviews carried out in the framework of this transnational project. With this guide, the Rainbow Welcome partners intend to provide answers to the questions of social workers and field workers in order to improve the reception of SOGEIC+ refugees and asylum seekers.

Rainbow Welcome is a project co-funded by the European Union's Rights Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC) and brings together practitioners and experts: POUR LA SOLIDARITÉ-PLS, Le Refuge Bruxelles/Het Opvanghuis Brussel (BE), ACATHI (ES), La Fondation Le Refuge (FR) and the Croce Rossa Italiana (IT).


Betsy Vivegnis