Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) people can face discrimination, persecution and violence, sometimes on a daily basis. In certain countries, same-sex relationships are criminalized – sometimes punishable by death. Many LGBTI people have no choice but to seek refuge elsewhere. But even in countries of asylum they can face stigma and abuse.
In recent decades, the number of LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers has risen, with most qualifying as "members of a particular social group" under the 1951 Refugee Convention, which defines the term ‘refugee,’ outlines their rights and sets out the legal obligations of States to protect them.
UNHCR works to try to protect all LGBTI refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people and works with partners to provide inclusive services, protect their rights and identify safe options.
A message from UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
Get to know Muhammad Adeel Iqbal, Maritza, Amani and other LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers, who left behind their homes to find the freedom to be who they truly are.
Reports and resources
Find a comprehensive list of documents related to sexual orientation and gender identity here.