This week, HRC submitted comments in response to the U.S. State Department’s request for feedback on improving the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which is responsible for helping refugees resettle in the United States. While USRAP has made tremendous strides in recent years to help meet the unique needs of LGBT refugees, a great deal more can be done.
The number of refugees worldwide who are fleeing their homeland because of violence and discrimination remains at historic and tragically high levels.
"From discrimination and bullying to violence and murder, LGBT people are among the most vulnerable individuals in the world," wrote HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. "It is therefore essential that the United States continue to serve as a beacon of hope and safety for all people who face persecution, no matter who they are or whom they love."
In its comments, HRC urged the State Department to collect more data on the number of LGBT refugees entering the U.S. in order to identify solutions that will better meet their needs in the applicable process. The comments also recommended that the federal government place LGBT refugees in communities that have appropriate support and services for LGBT people, as well as provide cultural competency training for individuals who work with LGBT refugees in order to help combat discrimination and harassment that some LGBT refugees face. HRC also urged the State Department to create more avenues to allow individuals to be reunited with same-sex partners who are already resettled in the U.Sunit.
HRC will continue to advocate for the needs of LGBT refugees, beginning with a summit that HRC will host on June 9, 2016. The convening will focus on developing strategies to help LGBT refugees who are fleeing in mass numbers from areas that are in and around territory that is controlled by the Islamic State. For more information, please contact HRC Global at firstname.lastname@example.org.