The Queer European Asylum Network (QUEAN) is an umbrella organization founded in 2019 that brings together NGO practitioners, LGBTQI+ refugees and activists and academics working on LGBTQI+ migration and asylum in Europe. QUEAN is committed to putting the lived experience of queer asylum at the center of its approach. The aim of QUEAN is to support efforts towards establishing a more inclusive Common European Asylum System where the particular challenges LGBTQI+ persons face in terms of sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, class, and disability are considered in law and practice through sharing knowledge and policy engagement. At QUEAN we believe that solidarity, collaboration, awareness, and visibility can help to create pathways that lead towards a more inclusive asylum system and practice.
The network is co-led by Dr. Mengia Tschalaer and Dr. Nina Held and is the result of the collaboration between two EU-funded research projects Queer Muslim Asylum and SOGICA (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum) and various stakeholders organizations such as the Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany, Bundesstiftung Magnus Hirschfeld, European Coalition of Cities Against Racism, Rainbow Refugees Frankfurt and the Refugee Council Hessen. This network is the first and only umbrella organization in Europe that focuses on issues of LGBTQI+ asylum.
- To address the absence of ‘expert voices” of LGBTQI* persons seeking asylum and refugees in debates on queer asylum
- To render visible the distinct experience of lesbian, gay, bi- and trans* sexual, queer and intersex persons within the context of asylum law and practice
- Encourage asylum policy that takes into consideration the manner in which gender, sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity, class, race, and disability shape the possibilities of gaining refugee protection
- Increase opportunities for LGBTQI+ persons seeking asylum and refugees to take part in policy conversations with various stakeholders
- To promote inclusion of LGBTQI+ experiences within European Asylum law and practice
- To engage in knowledge-sharing with local, federal and European stakeholders
Impact and Outreach Activities
- Organization of a virtual symposium on COVID-19 and Queer Asylum in collaboration with LGBTQI+ NGOs and the Council of Europe. Over 5,700 people have attended the symposium either via the webinar link or Facebook live.
- One policy brief on Queer Asylum in Germany in collaboration with Policy Bristol which has been endorsed by the German Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
- Two op-eds on the social isolation of queer refugees during the covid-19 pandemic in Al Jazeera and the Tagesspiegel.
- One op-ed in OpenDemocracy on the extreme isolation of LGBTQI+ asylum claimants in Germany and one on the denied refugee protection for Black lesbian