Blossom LGBT CIC has joined forces with Stonewall, the world’s largest LGBTQ+ charity, and over 245 other esteemed organisations representing human rights, refugee, LGBTQ+, and women’s advocacy sectors. Together we are using our voices with the aim of seeking to address a pressing issue that threatens the fundamental principles of equality and asylum rights.
Neurodiverse inclusive summary: We have signed an open letter asking for more information about the governments plans on asylum and sharing our worry about their comments.
Among the organisations rallying for change alongside Blossom LGBT CIC are globally recognised names such as Amnesty International, Oxfam, End Violence against Women, and UK Black Pride. Together, they are shining a spotlight on the alarming statements made by the UK Home Secretary, which have sparked a wave of fear and concern across international communities.
The catalyst for this urgent appeal is a recent speech by the UK Home Secretary that sent shockwaves through human rights circles. In this address, the Home Secretary shockingly asserted that being LGBTQ+ or a woman should not serve as appropriate grounds for seeking asylum in the United Kingdom. Such remarks directly contradict the spirit of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, established as global agreements in the wake of World War II. These agreements were put in place to provide refuge to those facing persecution.
Oscar Hoyle, the CEO of Blossom LGBT CIC, passionately stated, “We believe that every individual deserves the right to thrive without the fear of discrimination and persecution looming over them. Year after year, LGBTQ+ individuals across the globe are confronted with the agonising choice of leaving behind everything they’ve built or enduring the potential of abuse, imprisonment, or even death. I personally want to live in a country where we acknowledge the danger marginalised people live within, especially those facing persecution under colonial era buggery laws, and welcome them with open arms into safety and belonging – I hope others will echo my ambition.”
It’s worth noting that according to Alicia Kearns, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, LGBTQ+ individuals accounted for less than 1.5% of all asylum claims in 2021, for context is those numbers applied in 2022 then little over 1000 cases out of 81,100 where from LGBTQ+ people. This starkly contrasts with the disproportionate attack launched by the Home Secretary, leaving many to question the motives behind such a statement.
We also cannot ignore the underlying racial tones when considering migration. We know that mainly people seeking asylum on the basis of gender and sexuality, are generally from the Global South, so they are people of colour. In 2021, the war on Ukraine was reason for massive Ukrainian migration into the UK and other countries. The discourse surrounding this migration differed very much from the ones surrounding Syrian, Palestinian, and other Arab and POC migrating peoples.
Blossom LGBT CIC’s holds this collective action close to our heart, as we are actively engaged in supporting LGBTQ+ young adults in their journey to find meaningful employment and establish vital peer support networks.
Significantly, our work often intersects with the asylum process, acknowledging the dire circumstances faced by LGBTQ+ individuals seeking refuge and the struggles they face in finding work and community. We proudly extend a warm welcome to LGBTQ+ individuals from all backgrounds, including migrants, to access our services. Our commitment is resolute, as we recognise our moral duty to aid in the rebuilding of lives for LGBTQ+ migrants who choose the United Kingdom as their place of safety.
The collective appeal culminates in an open letter addressed to Rishi Sunak, we seek to ensure the United Kingdom upholds its commitment to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, safeguarding the rights of persecuted individuals. This letter underscores the importance of upholding the principles of compassion, inclusivity, and human rights that have long defined the United Kingdom. Our primary rationale behind co-signing this letter is to urge the UK government to provide a clear and compassionate stance on asylum for LGBTQ+ and women refugees, ensuring safety, dignity, and access protection.
To read the full open letter, please visit Stonewall’s website by clicking here.
The global community awaits a response from the UK government, with the hope that justice and compassion will prevail, safeguarding the rights and dignity of migrants who are seeking asylum in the United Kingdom. You may wish to join this movement by writing to your MP and expressing similar concerns, you can find out how to contact your MP here.
Blossom LGBT CIC is a not for profit organisation operating in Surrey | We're registered as a community interest company registered in England | Company Number 13447658 |
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