Pincock, Kate. “UNHCR and LGBTI Refugees in Kenya: The Limits of ‘Protection.’” Disasters, 2020.

  • Category: Literature
  • Source: Academic
  • Subject: Asylum/Refugee,Discrimination,Gay,Homophobia,Homosexuality,LGBTI,Resettlement,UNHCR
  • Place: Kenya,Uganda
  • Year: 2020
  • File: disa.12447
This paper problematises the way that protection is framed and implemented by UNHCR in relation to LGBT refugees in the context of Kenya. Despite increased international attention to LGBT refugees, the extant literature focuses on asylum-seeking at Western borders; there is a dearth of scholarship which explores the experiences of LGBT refugees within first countries of asylum in the global South. Building on critical literatures on humanitarian governance, this paper suggests that the ways that protection is framed by UNHCR, and practical restrictions on the implementation of protection in the context of Kenya, leave LGBTI refugees unsafe. Yet refugees’ own attempts to secure protection for themselves, often drawing on the same discourse of human rights that UNHCR deploys in its guidance renders them even less ‘protectable’ by both UNHCR and Kenyan activists. This paper argues for a more critical and contextualised approach to ‘protection’ as a form of humanitarian assistance given its place within the broader dynamics of global refugee governance.