Charity slams Daily Mail’s ‘nonsense’ claim that Calais migrants are told to say they’re gay
An LGBT asylum charity has hit out at a “nonsense” report that migrants attempting to enter the UK at Calais are told to lie about their sexuality in order to claim asylum.
The Daily Mail carried a report this week claiming that signs “written in English and Arabic” tell migrants to “prepare their story well from the beginning” ahead of the asyulm process, and suggesting “it may be worth stretching the truth” in order to claim asylum.
However, despite a headline claim that “posters tell migrants they can lie about their sexuality to claim asylum”, the newspaper has failed to reproduce a single copy of any such poster advising migrants to lie about their sexuality.
In a statement to PinkNews, Paul Dillane of UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group said there was “no evidence” for any of the newspaper’s claims.
He said: “There is no significant evidence available that demonstrates people are lying about their sexuality in order to claim asylum let alone that they are successful in doing so. The idea that seeking asylum on those grounds is an easy option is nonsense.
“In fact, LGBT people face significant obstacles in navigating the complex and frequently unsympathetic UK asylum system. Many LGBT people who are at real risk of persecution have been wrongly refused refugee protection in the UK due to poor standards of Home Office decision-making.”
“This story is a further distraction from the real issue at hand: the humanitarian needs of several thousand men, women and children, many of whom have fled war and persecution, and are living in squalor in the heart of Western Europe.”
“UKLGIG urges the government to demonstrate leadership and compassion in responding to the situation which exists in Calais and to advance the UK’s role in protecting those who seek asylum in this country and who are in need of assistance abroad.”
In order to claim asylum in the UK, migrants must first find their way into the country. It is not possible to claim asylum from France.
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LGBT asylum seekers are often forced to go to extreme lengths to ‘prove’ both their sexuality, and that they face real persecution in their home country for it.
Home Secretary Theresa May ordered a review of the way that LGBT cases are handled last year and accepted the case for reforms – but campaign groups say little has changed and the system is still “extremely unfair”.
The Home Office was recently forced to suspend its system to “fast track” asylum cases it believes have no merit, after a High Court justice ruled the system contains “structural unfairness”.
The Detained Fast Track system played a key role in removal of LGBT asylum seekers, allowing the government to seek removal in as little as 22 days.
Asylum groups argue the system does not give people long enough to prepare their case, requires an unachievable level of ‘proof’, and is biased against people seeking asylum.