What can you expect at the hearing? What are your rights? How can you protect yourself from violence and discrimination in your asylum shelter?
LGBTI refugees are granted asylum in Germany. In the process of granting asylum, the legal situation around LGBTI in the country of origin, the social climate and the personal situation of a refugee are crucial. Therefore, you must be able to convincingly demonstrate you were persecuted in your country of origin. Or that you were heavily discriminated against because of existing negative attitudes and feelings towards homo, trans and intersex people; for example, in educational and health institutions, in your professional space or in any other area of life.
What happens at the hearing?
At personal hearings, which are part of the asylum process, you have the duty and chance to present exactly what happened to you. The interview consists of standard questions where the reasons for migration, the migration routes and the personal situations are documented. Your answers are binding and are closely examined through additional questions. However, interviewers cannot ask you questions about sexual acts nor can they demand pictures or video material.
You should get some help beforehand, so you come well prepared for the interview. Look for support groups for LGBTI refugees in various federal states on the following website: www.queer-refugees.de.
What are your rights?
Inform the BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees) which languages/dialects you speak and whether you prefer a female/male interpreter. You can also bring any person who is fluent in German and your spoken language. He/she can help with translation but is not allowed to present the reasons for asylum on your behalf.
You can also ask for a special LGBTI representative – someone who specializes in LGBTI-related issues as a reason for migration. We recommend that you get the protocol of the hearing translated back to you in case there is a mistake, which can then be corrected.
Protect yourself against violence and discrimination in the refugee shelter
If you are exposed to violence or discrimination in your shelter, contact the employees of the various social services. Operators of shelters are obliged to stop violence against all residents. They may move you to another room within the shelter or to a shelter for LGBTI refugees depending on the federal state. In an emergency, immediately contact the police by dialling 110 or get one of the staff members in the shelter to call the police for you.