LGBTI+ Refugee and Migrant Program
The Access Chapter 2’s LGBTI+ Refugee and Migrant Programme was initiated in 2016 following reports from LGBTI+ refugees and migrants in South Africa experiencing challenges in acquiring legal documentation, access to public services including healthcare, shelter, economic opportunities and fair and equal access to justice. LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees come to South Africa to escape persecution in states where homophobia is criminalised or to live open and dignified lives as stipulated in the South African Bill of Rights. The goal of the programme is to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTI+ migrants and refugees and this is achieved through the provision of safe spaces hosted bi-weekly. Safe spaces create a platform for learning, knowledge and experience sharing and solidarity among marginalised groups. Capacity building is conducted through workshops and training and finally, the programme implements advocacy through media liaison and engagement with various stakeholders including the department of Home Affairs, Civil Society and the Department of Justice. Under the programme Access Chapter 2 has published a study report titled ‘The Voice: research report, life experiences of LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa ’. The study documents the lives of LGBTI+ migrants, refugees and asylum seekers by exploring their experiences with stigma and discrimination.