This report is the result of a one-year qualitative and quantitative research project conducted by HIAS on sexual minority refugees in the urban centers of Ecuador, Ghana, Israel, and Kenya. During the course of the research, interviews were conducted with sexual minority refugees, refugee protection professionals, and sexual minority civil society organizations.
The report presents the protection gaps facing sexual minority refugees and asylum seekers and offers recommendations for mitigating these gaps. In all, 66 sexual minority refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, and 92 representatives of governments, international organizations and local civil society organizations were interviewed in nine urban locations.
Sexual minority refugees flee their countries of origin due to discrimination, exclusion, and at times, violence by a myriad of actors, including family, neighbors, coworkers, police, paramilitary forces, and the media. Some leave primarily due to danger from the violent conflicts in their countries. Persecution on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI) is often the motivating factor for flight, but is seldom expressed as such by refugees and asylum seekers themselves.