MacIntyre, Jessica. “‘Otherwise I Am Nowhere’: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Monitoring in UK Refugee Organisations.” MA Applied Human Rights, University of York, 2013.

  • Category: Literature
  • Source: Academic
  • Subject: Asylum/Refugee,Bisexual,Discrimination,Gay,Gender Identity,Homophobia,Lesbian,LGBTI,Sexual Orientation,Transgender
  • Place: Kenya,Uganda,Zimbabwe
  • Year: 2013
  • File: Otherwise_I_am_Nowhere
Since the 2010 Equality Act, monitoring of protected characteristics has become increasingly common practice in British public sector organisations as a statutory measure of equality and diversity management. However, increasingly decentralised funding due to government budget cuts to the third sector has meant that refugee organisations are under less pressure to implement monitoring practices for their service users. It is well recognised that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) refugees and asylum seekers are at risk of compromised protection due to their invisibility as service users. This study seeks to explore the hypothesis that anonymous and confidential monitoring of LGBTI identity in itself can signal welcoming environments to refugees and asylum seekers, who will be more likely to feel empowered to disclose their LGBTI identity to their care providers as a direct consequence. Interviews with LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers compliment the argument that the inclusion of LGBTI identities on a monitoring form can be used as a way to signal to individuals that it is safe for them to come out1, and that the subject of their sexual orientation or gender identity is not taboo. Further key findings indicate the importance of clarity in regards to the purpose of data collection and its subsequent use, and this will inform recommendations on best practice for refugee service organisations.