CALL TO ACTION – Support LGBT refugees in the Kakuma Refugee camp, Kenya

We ask our supporters and members to petition the UNHCR to release LGB+T refugees in Kenya at risk of being killed, by allowing them to leave the camp where they are being violently attacked. They lack basic shelter, food and facilities and our lesbian sisters in particular are at risk of sexual abuse. More information about their plight can be found here and more ways to support the Kakuma refugees can be found here

Simply copy and paste the text below into a blank email and send to the following email addresses. Please ACT NOW and let the UN refugee agency know that more must be done to help.

Kenya
englbrec@unhcr.org
alish@unhcr.org
kenna@unhcr.org
Kakuma
UNHCR Protection office in Kakuma:
KENKA@unhcr.org
kenkaprt@unhcr.org
Geneva

swibe@unhcr.org
cansizog@unhcr.org
CC: Tayyar Sukru Cansizoglu (Head of Sub Office Kakuma)

 

Email text:

Dear UNHCR,
We demand that you IMMEDIATELY ensure that movement passes are issued for all LGBT refugees to leave Kakuma Camp.
We demand that you give your protection for all LGBT refugees to transit safely from Kakuma Camp to Nairobi and to be protected for the duration of their time in Kenya.
According to The Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the ‘essential function of UNHCR is to provide international protection to refugees and to seek durable solutions to their problems by facilitating either their voluntary repatriation or their integration into new national communities in safety and with dignity’
FiLiA believes that the residents of Block 13 in Kakuma camp are not being protected or having due regard to their safety or dignity.
LGBT Refugees in Kakuma Camp are facing violent attacks on a daily basis and in 6 years UNHCR has proven that protecting them in the camp is not possible.
UNHCR operates the camp at Kakuma and the neighbouring Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement – https://www.unhcr.org/ke/kakuma-refugee-camp
UNHCR’s own Guideline No. 9, which deals with claims based on sexual orientation and / or gender identity, recognises that non-state actors may be agents of persecution where the state is unwilling or unable to protect them. The residents in Block 13 are experiencing harm capable of amounting to persecution and have no recourse to protection from the state or apparently from UNHCR. https://www.unhcr.org/…/unhcr-guidelines-international…
UNHCR’s Guideline on Gender-Related Persecution, which deals with sex and gender in refugee claims, acknowledges that gender-based violence encompasses persecution on the basis of sexual orientation, and that sexual violence is capable of amounting to persecution. Women in Block 13 are at risk due to both their sex and their sexual orientation.
Article 5 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights confirms that nobody shall be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.
Article 7 of the same – all are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection against discrimination.
Article 14 – everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution.
The conditions in Kakuma for those who are resident in Block 13 fail on these counts. Having sought asylum from persecution in their countries of origin, they are exposed to continued persecution and to inhuman and degrading treatment and discrimination due to their sexual orientation. This undermines the purpose of the Refugee Convention and compounds the suffering of the refugees in Block 13.
Please do your job and protect these Refugees.
Yours sincerely,

 

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