I reported at African HRC that unscrupulous people may be conducting scams and taking advantage of LGBTI people who seek to escape their countries of origin. Of the several problems that seem to be happening at this time, UNHCR has confirmed reports of the trafficking of groups from Uganda and that this has now resulted in a temporary hold on registrations.
I received reports that 76 men (some may be gay, some pretending to be gay) have just been denied registration/mandates from UNHCR as they had been brought to Kenya from Uganda as part of a ‘business scheme’ by a third party, who in exchange for payment, guaranteed them they would be mandated by UNHCR and then resettled abroad. I asked UNHCR about the 76 registrations, but did not receive a direct response about the denials.
However in response the UNHCR spokesperson in Kenya has officially confirmed that UNHCR has decided to temporarily put on hold registration and assistance for new arrivals. Because: ” We have received information from several reliable sources (refugees, implementing partners and LGBTI support groups) that Ugandans are now trafficked to Kenya in groups in order to be resettled to a third country. ”
I expressed concern that this could negatively impact genuine LGBTI asylum seekers: And the spokesperson responded:
“We fully agree with you that there may indeed be genuine cases among the group of asylum seekers who have arrived over the past months. However, we do have a responsibility vis-a-vis the donors, resettlement countries and most of all the LGBTI refugees themselves to make sure that only genuine cases obtain protection and durable solutions.
We hope you understand that we need to investigate this further before we can decide on the way forward. It may in any case be expected that as from now we will take significantly more time to assess the claims and protection needs instead of automatically expedite processing.”
First reported and read more at:http://tinyurl.com/jw5z75w
Source: Melanie Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.