Where can LGBTI people be safe?

When LGBT and gender-diverse people move from Africa or Central and South America to Europe, their persecution continues. They face further danger and, in some cases, murder.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, Europe
Where can LGBTI people be safe? - NewsMavens
Gay Pride Toulouse. Image from Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people across the world are at risk of increased levels of persecution. According to a new report by Amnesty International, LGBTI citizens in three Central American Nations are fleeing spiralling violence against them.

An accompanying statement to the report reveals that violence-ridden El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala face “rocketing levels of discrimination and gender-based violence from criminal gangs and members of security forces”.

According to the report, the people are undertaking dangerous journeys to Mexico and the U.S, but they are not safe there either. They risk further discrimination, exploitation and deportation back to their home countries.

Adeline Neau, an investigator for Amnesty International in Central America and the author of the report, stresses that LGBT citizens face continuous violence.

“They cannot feel safe in their countries, cannot find justice, cannot find protection, and that’s why they finally decide to leave,” she told my WikiTribune colleague George Engels.

A new FBI report revealed that cases of anti-LGBT hate crimes are on the rise all over America, highlighting the ongoing epidemic of anti-transgender violence.

Research for the Trans Day of Remembrance 2017 revealed that 325 killings of trans and gender-diverse people were reported between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017 -- an increase of 30 people compared to last year's figures.

According to the report, 69% of the reported murder victims in France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain -- where most trans and gender-diverse people from Africa and Central and South America flee to -- were migrants.

In Europe, Turkey has seen 44 trans women, mostly sex workers, murdered in nearly nine years.

It's important to remember that gender-based violence doesn't hurt only women. While women are often victims of such discrimination, LGBTI people are also harshly at risk of homophobia, racism, transphobia, xenophobia and other forms of prejudice. So much so, that even when they move overseas, their persecution continues.

Details from the story:

  • LGBTI people fleeing El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala are facing “rocketing levels of discrimination and gender-based violence."
  • Trans and gender-diverse individuals who migrate to Europe from Africa and Central and South America, face further persecution and, in some cases, murder.
  • The anti-transgender violence epidemic is ongoing in the U.S.
  • 325 killings of trans and gender-diverse people were reported between 2016 and 2017.
  • 44 trans women, mostly sex workers, were murdered in Turkey in nearly nine years.
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