On 19th June 2018, we had the honour and privilege of attending the House of Lords for the launch of the Economic Cost of Homophobia, an illuminating report published by the Peter Tatchell Foundation. It was beyond words to have the opportunity to hear Peter Tatchell, Lord Fowler, and others speak on such a critical issue.
The report demonstrates the damaging impact that anti-LGBT+ legislation has on the economic development of countries which still criminalise homosexuality. Ultimately, not only does anti-LGBT+ legislation enable human rights abuses, it hinders a nation’s ability to fully prosper.
The objectives of the Peter Tatchell Foundation are in line with the work conducted by our firm. At Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitors, we often work closely with individuals who are fleeing persecution in their home country on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity. Read the article ‘Human Rights Claims – on the basis of Homosexuality in Asylum Applications & Appeals‘ (page 6) by Danielle Cohen in the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association Monthly (April 2018).
It should be noted that as an asylum seeker, you will be unable to work while your application is under consideration. You may be able to work if you were given permission as part of another form of leave prior to your asylum claim, or if you have waited for longer than 12 months to receive an initial decision. However, these opportunities are restricted to those on the shortage occupation list published by the Home Office, which generally consists of employment in the engineering or advanced medical industries. The Home Office claims that this is because there is a distinction between entering the UK for economic pursuits and entering for the sake of your safety. Asylum support is offered as a remedy, but the reality is that these barriers open vulnerable individuals to exploitation by unscrupulous employers an act as a deterrent for those seeking asylum.