Not all places are equally safe for LGBTI+ individuals. Certain countries violate the human rights of LGBTI+ people. In certain locations, sexual activities that do not involve heterosexual partners are prohibited. In other locations, such behaviours are legal, but people still hold many biases. This situation can also be hazardous. Not all countries can or desire to safeguard the LGBTI+ individuals residing in their territories.
If you live in a foreign country and feel unsafe, there are options to seek help. If you face persecution or threats due to your gender identity, sexual orientation or intersex condition, there are support services available to you. If you need help, there are services you can contact for assistance.
If you are seeking support as an LGBTI+ person or an activist for LGBTI+ rights, there are a few options available to you.
One option is to reach out to local LGBTI+ organizations or human rights organizations.
ILGA World provides a list of affiliated associations around the world, which may be a good starting point. However, it is important to note that some organizations listed may focus solely on policy work and may not provide individual support. Therefore, it is advisable to do further research to identify organizations that can specifically assist you.
Additionally, you can use search engines to find relevant organizations by using keywords such as 'LGBTI+ organization' or 'human rights organization'.
For activists wanting to increase their safety, Protection International and Front Line Defenders offer guides that contain valuable tips and resources.
- Workbook on Security – Front Line Defenders. Available in ten languages.
- Protection Manual for LGBTI Defenders – Protection International. Available in three languages.
These guides are not only beneficial for activists but also for LGBTI+ people who are not involved in activism. Both organizations are committed to protecting human rights defenders worldwide.
In case of immediate danger, activists can contact Front Line Defenders' emergency line for assistance.
- Lumi cannot help you obtain a visa or residence permit.
- The process of seeking asylum is challenging. Most applications are not accepted.
- Belgium currently does not have enough places to house all asylum seekers.
LGBTI+ people who face danger in their country of origin can apply for asylum based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in several countries, including Belgium. The same applies to intersex people.
Do you have family living in Europe?
In cases where fleeing the country is potentially dangerous, resettlement assistance can be offered. This is however very exceptional. There are two organizations facilitating resettlement.
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Specific information about their operations can be obtained from their country office.
- Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian organization, helps LGBTI+ refugees around the world, including through resettlement. Applications can be made on their website: Request help