LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Capacity building seminar on asylum

ILGA-Europe and TGEU would like to invite you to apply to participate in a capacity building seminar on LGBTI asylum taking place on 8-9 July in Berlin.

Deadline for applications: 9 May 2016

Why a capacity building seminar on LGBTI asylum?

At the 2015 ILGA-Europe annual conference, nearly 500 LGBTI activists and allies adopted a statement of solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers across Europe. Indeed, in the past year, the numbers of asylum seekers arriving in Europe increased exponentially. A significant number of these asylum seekers are LGBTI people. During their journey and upon arrival, they face additional risks in the form of harassment, exclusion, sexual violence, or other forms of violence. For instance, the Transrespect versus Transphobia research results showing an increased vulnerability of migrant trans people in Europe to discrimination and violence.

In the light of the current situation and of the urgent needs, more and more LGBTI organisations are starting to work with LGBTI asylum seekers, in different ways (offering legal advice, setting up support groups, providing shelter, etc.). However, working with asylum seekers poses specific challenges and requires specific skills. Responding to increased requests for support from our membership ILGA-Europe and TGEU are now stepping up their work on supporting LGBTI asylum seekers across Europe. At the same time, the implementation of existing EU asylum standards is often problematic, in particular for LGBTI asylum seekers. Some governments are attentive to the situation of LGBTI asylum seekers, while others seem to be completely ignoring them. 

What will the seminar will be about?

At this two-day capacity building seminar, we will start learning from each other how to:

  • be strong advocates for LGBTI asylum seekers

  • provide the specific support that LGBTI asylum seekers need

  • strengthen the capacity of public authorities and practitioners to address asylum claims based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics

  • build alliances with mainstream asylum organisations and sharing good practices in areas such as training of professionals, country of origin information and decision-making guidelines.

ILGA-Europe and TGEU members with a strong track record in one of these areas will take the lead for specific sessions. The outcome will be an increased expertise of all participants through peer learning, and guidelines on how to open LGBTI communities for asylum seekers and migrants. Our goal is to allow participants to share as much experience as possible, develop common knowledge and understanding, and raise as much questions as needed. We insist that this training will apply a peer-learning approach and should not be a one-way lecture by experts.

Who should apply?

For the seminar to be a truly meaningful experience, diversity within the LGBTI communities needs to be represented. We aim to accommodate needs to ensure accessibility for everyone.

We strongly value candidates who have a key role in LGBTI organisations, because we want the gained knowledge to be brought back to organisations or groups that want to develop their work in the field of asylum. We are not specifically looking for people with a legal background, but rather for people with different backgrounds. For funding reasons, this training is reserved to people from EU Member States, but in exceptional cases representatives from EU accession countries will be considered.

More precisely, we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have experience or interest in working with LGBTI asylum seekers

  • Are active in an LGBTI organisation or group working in this field or wanting to develop its activities in this field and who are able to bring the gained knowledge back to the organisation

  • Are able to participate for the full duration of the seminar and show high motivation

  • Communicate effectively in English.


  • Specific experience in working with trans people

  • Experience in providing support or assistance to individual LGBTI people (e.g. victim support, legal advice, community-building, etc.)

  • Experience in monitoring and/or advocacy work on LGBTI issues

  • Work in community organising and have knowledge of practices, tactics, challenges and needs around community organising

Date and Place of the Training

  • Date: 8-9 July
  • Place: Berlin, Germany
  • Arrival: Thursday 7 July (or early in the morning on 8 July)
  • Departure: Sunday 10 July (the training will finish on 9 July at about 18:00, you might want to leave that evening)

Travel reimbursement:

Travel costs will be reimbursed by ILGA-Europe or TGEU following full attendance at the training. Upon selection, participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements by the cheapest mode of transport available (economy class airfare or 2nd class train). Should your costs exceed €300, confirmation should be sought prior to the booking/purchase of the ticket.

Local travel (buses, trains, etc.) will be covered through a per diem provided at the training.

Meals and accommodation:

We will cover the accommodation and meals from the evening of 7 July to the evening of Sunday 10 July included. Any other costs related to meals and accommodation outside of these times will have to be covered by the participant unless previously agreed.

Application process:

Please complete the application form, and return to michael[at] and richard[at] before 9 May 2016 at 18:00 CET. The result of your application will be announced by the end of May 2016.

Please find the application form here.