HRC Blog

HRC to Host Roundtable on LGBT Asylees and Refugees

FlagsAs the United States moves closer to attaining equality for LGBT people, the U.S. is becoming a safe-haven for LGBT individuals from abroad who face violence, harassment, and discrimination. Same-sex activity is criminalized in 78 countries and can be punished with the death penalty in 10 countries. Some individuals from these countries -- and others -- are fleeing their homes and seeking refuge in more accepting places.

As refugees and asylum seekers enter the U.S., new concerns surrounding their safety and survival arise. The Refugee Congress, an organization comprised of refugees in the U.S., has commissioned a caucus that focuses specifically on the needs of LGBTI refugees. They are convening a timely discussion, entitled “Hear our Voices,” on these needs in Washington, D.C., on September 10, 2014. The discussion is open to the public, but is designed to provide a space for LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers to voice their needs and concerns.

Click here for a full agenda of the day’s events. If you plan to attend or have questions about the event, please RSVP to Luzau Balowa, the Nevada delegate of the LGBTI Refugee Caucus, at This roundtable is a first step in bringing together refugees, U.S. policy makers, the UN Refugee Agency and NGOs to discuss coordinated efforts to advance the rights and increase protections of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers internationally and in the U.S.

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