Uganda Gay On Move (UGOM) short observation on asylum seekers’ choice of destination country.

 

refugees

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There are significant numbers of asylum seekers (refugees) who do make their way to developed countries such as The Netherlands to apply for asylum of which the Lesbians Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) community is not exceptional.

In Uganda Gay On Move (UGOM)’s context of increasing numbers of LGBTIQ asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands alone by whatsoever means in recent past 3 years ever since its existence in 2013, there has been much debating and discussion about the impact of certain policy measures on numbers of LGBTIQ refugees and asylum seekers arrivals especially from Uganda, and the relative significance of ‘pull’ versus ‘push’ factors in influencing the rate of these arrivals.

UGOM believes there is a growing research into the issue of asylum destination choice–that is, the extent to which LGBTIQ asylum seekers are able to exercise choice when it comes to their destination country, and their reasons for choosing certain countries over others.  However, based on the short comings or what UGOM considers as shortfalls of the Dublin Regulation (REGULATION (EU) No 604/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (recast). With this regulation, many of LGBTIQ have been left with no choice other than going back to countries that provided them VISA which in most cases those they claim to have helped them to come to safe havens never put into consideration.

Many of UGOM community members see the Netherlands as a paradise for LGBTIQ persons and cradle to human rights. So the Dublin regulation ends up making their hope to only remain in dreams especially when they are told that they are leaving a social group they are comfortable with. Even when they have left the Netherlands to other countries as the Dublin Regulation states, they never enjoy their lives as they enjoyed it here in The Netherlands. Examples of such people with testimonies of this point can be provided by UGOM if only their protection is guaranteed by the researcher.

Among the common number of themes UGOM believes revealed include, chief among them being that LGBTIQ asylum seekers generally have limited options available to them, and choices are made within a very narrow field of possibilities. Their choices and their journeys are often strongly influenced by the people smugglers, or agents, they engage to assist them to the safe havens such as the Netherlands.

Where LGBTIQ asylum seekers are able to exercise choice in determining their destination country, factors such as the presence of social networks, historical ties between the countries of origin and destination, and the knowledge or belief that a certain country is democratic and liberal where human rights and the rule of law are likely to be respected, are highly influential.

The policies and processes relating to the asylum procedure in destination countries such as the Netherlands are generally not well known to UGOM and its community members and therefore not highly significant in influencing choice of destination. Which UGOM thinks that it represents a major challenge for governments such as the Dutch government which are attempting to curb flows of asylum seekers through changes to asylum policy.

Based on this report, UGOM fully urges its community members to fully be involved in the ongoing research from an official from the European Migration Network ( Onderzoek en Analyse,  Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst Directie Strategie en Uitvoeringsadvies Afdeling Onderzoek en Analyse). UGOM is honored to be part and partial of this survey and research. Members interested in participation can feel free to forward in their requests on ugandagayonmove@gmail.com or inbox us on Uganda Gay On Move facebook page or call on 0687717530

By UGOM

 

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