Laws and Policies Designed to Manage Refugee Flows Violate the Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons

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Natural disasters, political instability, and severe environmental circumstances account for East Africa’s high number of forced migrants . The case is further heightened in countries with significant drivers of migration such as poverty, conflict, harmful legislation, and regressive urbanization. One significant driver is the creation of anti-homosexuality laws. Currently, A significant movement of persons from Uganda to Kenya is currently observed by the existing community-based structures in Kenya.

Prior to these legislation processes, the impact of changes in laws was observed in refugee status determination processes. Asylum seekers who identify as LGBTQI+ persons are discriminated and, in some cases, the process is halted completely. Consequently, LGBTQI+ asylum seekers experience arbitrary arrests and unlawful detentions, barriers in access to justice; limited employability and livelihood challenges (high cost of living); unequal access to essential health services; and inadequate participation during the development of the humanitarian efforts.
This panel invites papers which seek to explore the effects of changes in law and policies targeting LGBTQI+ persons on migration trends in East Africa and the coping strategies of affected persons on the move amidst new constraints during and after migration. We welcome submission from academics, practitioners and activists, in particular, submission from individuals with lived experience is encouraged.

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