LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Seminar on LGBTI asylum and a roundtable with public authorities

ILGA-Europe and TGEU invite you to apply to participate in a capacity building seminar on LGBTI asylum and a roundtable with public authorities in Brussels, from 27-28 November 2017

**Revised deadline for applications: 19 September 2017**

Why a capacity building seminar and roundtable on LGBTI asylum?

For LGBTI asylum seekers, the existing EU asylum standards and their implementation are particularly problematic. Exposed to numerous specific risks in the form of harassment, exclusion, and various forms of violence, LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers face multiple vulnerabilities and marginalisations. These remain inconsistently addressed by governments, with some attentive to the specific needs of the LGBTI population and others seemingly dismissive.

Responding to this, a growing number of LGBTI organisations now work with LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers in a variety of ways. Amongst others, these include offering legal advice, setting up support groups and providing shelter, as well as advocating for systemic improvement at the national and supranational levels. Given the specific challenges involved in the asylum context, the provision of these services requires specific skills and knowledge – a challenge reflected in the increased requests for support from the membership of both ILGA-Europe and TGEU.

Building on the success of our 2016 capacity building seminar on LGBTI asylum, ILGA-Europe and TGEU are aiming to help further strengthen the capacities of organisations working with LGBTI asylum seekers, and to encourage the development of systematic and coordinated solutions by also bringing public authorities to the table. In light of the ongoing reform of the EU asylum system, it becomes particularly important to bring ground level experiences of LGBTI asylum to the attention of the authorities responsible for enacting and implementing the policies and legislation affecting the lives of LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers.

How will it work?

Through this seminar and roundtable, we will help each other

  • become stronger advocates for LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers
  • provide the specific support needed by LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers
  • strengthen the capacity of public authorities and practitioners to address asylum claims based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and/or sex characteristics
  • build alliances with mainstream asylum organisations and share good practices in various areas, e.g. training of professionals, country of origin information and decision-making guidelines.

The first day will be solely for NGOs. On the second day, public authorities are invited to join us for a roundtable, to explore how we can best work together to ensure that that the rights of LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers are properly protected throughout and after the asylum process.

Over the course of these two days, we will share good practices for organisations working with and for refugees, focusing on the areas of community, health, shelters, trainings and the identification of special needs. Each session will be led by a member of ILGA-Europe and/or TGEU with a strong track record in the respective area. The desired result is to improve the expertise of all participants via peer learning, and to develop guidelines for opening LGBTI communities to 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 many questions as needed. We insist that this training apply a peer-learning approach, and not be a one-way lecture by experts.

Who should apply?

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

We are seeking candidates who work directly on issues of LGBTI asylum, and strongly value those with key roles in LGBTI organisations. This is to ensure that the gained knowledge is brought back to organisations or groups striving to develop their work in the field of asylum. Applications from LGBTI refugee-led groups and/or representatives with a refugee background are also encouraged. A legal background is not required, as we are looking for people of different experiences.

For funding reasons, this training is limited to residents of EU Member States; in exceptional cases representatives from EU accession countries can also be considered.

All applicants are encouraged to bring along a counterpart from their respective national authorities whose presence on the second day contributes to establish a dialogue between NGOs and authorities regarding the issues at stake. While advantageous, this is not a requirement, and applicants unable to do so will not be excluded on this basis.

More precisely, we are looking for applicants who

  • are experienced or interested in working with LGBTI refugees and 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 knowledge gained back to the organisation
  • can participate for the full two days and show high motivation
  • can communicate effectively in English


  • Specific experience working with trans refugees and asylum seekers
  • LGBTI refugee or asylum seeker background
  • Experience 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 knowledge of practices, tactics, challenges and needs around community organising

Date and Place of the Training

  • Date: 27-28 November 2017
  • Place: Brussels, Belgium
  • Arrival: Sunday, 26 November (or early morning on 27 November)
  • Departure: Wednesday, 29 November (the training concludes at approximately 18:00 CET on 28 November)

Travel reimbursement

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

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

Meals and accommodation

We will cover accommodation and meals from the evening of Sunday 26 November up to the evening of Wednesday 29 November (depending on travel arrangements). All other costs related to meals and accommodation outside of these times are to be covered by the participant, unless previously agreed.

Application process

Please complete the application form, and return to juliana[at] and richard[at] before 19 September 2017 at 23:00 CET. The result of your application will be announced by the end of September 2017.

Please find the application form here.