Asylum Seekers

What is an asylum seeker?

An Asylum Seeker is a person who has left their native country and who is seeking asylum in another country due to risk of persecution as a result of their race, religious and/or political views, sexual orientation or membership of a particular social group.

Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender asylum seekers would be person’s fleeing persecution, and often torture, from their country of origin as a result of negative societal attitudes and practices against same sex attracted and/or gender diverse people, and governments who endorse and promote harmful cultural practices.

The European Convention on Human Right prevents the UK government from returning anyone to a country where there a risk to them and they are likely to experience serious harm such as a violence, torture, imprisonment or death. In order to claim asylum, a person would have to demonstrate to the Home Office through the asylum process, that the conditions in their country for those who are open, or perceived to be open about their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex, amount to persecution within their country of origin.

In order to be granted asylum, a person will need to satisfy the criteria set by the Home Office that they are a Refugee as described in the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. If you believe that you meet the criteria for asylum, you should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to start your asylum application.

The Rainbow Project is currently working with a range of asylum seeker and refugee support networks. If you are an asylum seeker and wish to access support, The Rainbow Project can provide:

Co-cultural Counselling

-Gay Ethnic Group Social Support.



Personal development

-Signposting to asylum seeker support agencies  

-asylum process support.

Useful contacts:

  • Extern
    028 9044 0424
  • Belfast City Mission
    028 9032 0557
  • Northern Ireland Law Centre
    028 9024 4401
  • Refugees welcome

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