Bologna Opens the First Center for LGBT Refugees in Italy

This post is also available in: French

Bologna will soon open the first Italian shelter for LGBT refugees, reports the news agency Ansa. This project, led by several LGBTI associations get funded by the italian National Bureau against Racial Discrimination. The project received financial support of 100,000 euros.

“The project strengthens the reception system in Bologna,” explained city councilors Luca Rizzo Nervo and Susanna Zaccaria. According to them, this confirms “a positive habit of collaboration between the City and LGBTI associations” to reinforce “the rights and guarantees of the people”.

In Europe, according to the Swiss LGBT website 360°, Berlin opened last February a shelter for LGBT refugees, the second in Germany after Nuremberg. The center in Berlin can accommodate 120 people according to the association in charge of the center. Germany is the European country which in absolute numbers has welcomed the most asylum seekers in recent years, most fleeing countries at war like Syria or Iraq.

Homophobic Violence

Many testimonies showed that LGBT refugees were frequently the victims of violence and homophobia in refugee centers. It is for this reason that initiatives are being taken to help them and offer them safer accommodation.

In the Netherlands, the LGBT community is organizing and refugees are staying with the locals. In this country, in recent months a rise in acts of homophobic violence has been reported. In September 2016, as reported by the Logo website, a 26-year-old Iranian gay man was stabbed by another refugee when the latter learned that he was gay.

In France, there is as yet no specific accommodation structure for LGBT asylum seekers. However, according to the figures provided by the Ardhis association, which takes care of them, they are very numerous to seek the protection of France. The Ardhis takes care of several hundred new asylum seekers each year.