[European Union] Sicilian volunteers help African LGBTI migrants hit by new Italian Law

06 May 2019
The New Humanitarian

A new law that has recently been introduced by the Italian government abolishes humanitarian protection for people who are not directly affected by conflicts or natural disasters. Therefore new comers and long-term asylum seekers will not have the possibility anymore to receive a two-year residence permit. This is especially difficult for people fleeing homophobia in their home countries. In order to respond to the needs of LGBTI asylum seekers, to give them a new home and to help them integrate into society, a centre was founded in 2011 called ‘La Migration’ providing free legal, psychological, and cultural integration services. So far, they have helped 120 mostly young gay Muslim men from West Africa, of whom 56 got accepted for protection in Italy. Even before the new law was implemented it was challenging to prove the sexual orientation of an asylum seeker, but the new law will make it even more difficult. The difficulties are also portrayed by rising percentages of refugee status rejections, since the implementation of the law from 52 % to 82 %.   

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