Recognition and Prevention of Violence against LGBTQI+ Persons on the Move



This online symposium foregrounds trans, bisexual, intersex, lesbian and non-binary migrants and refugees’ experiences of asylum, challenging the often cis-homocentric and Eurocentric perspectives and views that continue to dominate queer asylum practice and policies. The symposium firstly, focuses on the recognition of gender-based violence in the asylum claims of lesbian, inter and transgender persons and secondly, on the violence protection and prevention against LGBTQI+ people on the move in their country of arrival. In so doing, the panels ask what we can learn from these experiences and how they contribute to a more inclusive asylum policy – particularly with an eye on the New Common European Asylum System. This symposium will be concluded by a participatory performance by the human rights theater group ice&fire which approaches the topics around queer asylum, human rights and violence through testimonies and the writing of poems by the participants.   


Panel #1The Recognition of Violence Against Lesbian, Inter and Transgender People within the Common European Asylum System

ONLINE I 9.00-10.30 CET

The first panel of this online symposium discusses the particular experiences of lesbian, intersex and transgender asylum claimants, who are often victims of gender-based violence in their country of origin as well as arrival, against the background of the Istanbul Convention from 2011. What are the particular challenges lesbian, intersex and trans claimants face within the asylum process? How can we understand gender-based violence in SOGI asylum claims? To what extend do we see an implementation of the Istanbul Convention 2011 within the Common European Asylum System? How could we find ways in which to incorporate such more stringently in the context of the New Common European Asylum System? 

Panel #2 – Hate-Motivated Violence Against LGBTIQ * Refugees: Protection Concepts, Advice and Prevention

ONLINE I 10.45-12.15 CET

LGBTQI* refugees and asylum claimants are particularly vulnerable to physical and psychological violence within and outside accommodation centers. How can they find quick help and competent counseling support? What are the possibilities and limitations of concepts addressing hate-motivated violence in Germany? What kinds of safe-housing concepts are there? How can the police and judiciary be better sensitized to recognize and act upon hate-motivated violence against LGBTQI* persons on the move? What is the scope of action of victim counseling offices? This panel focuses on examples of best-practices and develops suggestions on how to better accommodate the particular needs of LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum claimants during the asylum process.

Panel #3 – Human Rights and Queer Asylum Performance: This is Who I am – a Dialogue  

ONLINE I 13.30-15.30 CET

In collaboration with the theatre company ice&fire and its production ‘This Is Who I Am’, this two-hours-long session will offer an interactive experience in exploring human rights stories relating to queer asylum through performance art. The virtual spoken word performance features a reading of first-hand accounts of LGBTQI+ people’s experiences of seeking refuge in Europe and going through the asylum process. 

Based on the fifty-minutes long reading, the audience will then have the opportunity to engage in a 30-minute participatory poetry writing workshop with an ensuing recital led by ice&fire and the Queer European Asylum Network. This panel further offers a support break-out room with the presence of a LGBTQI+ social worker team.  


Registration is open via Eventbrite until 13. November 2020 @ 9am CET.


The event will be held in English.

Please email any additional language needs to

This event is free and all are welcome.


This symposium received support from the Gunda-Werner-Institute, the Economic and Social Research Council UK, the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism and the Drei Linden Stiftung, and the City of Heidelberg funded by the federal program „Demokratie leben!“ of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.