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Author Topic: Australia: Refugees Need Not Apply  (Read 40 times)
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Matty - remember me?
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Making gay while the sun shines.

« on: 02 November 2009, 09:09:AM »

Craig Young wrote this commentary on Australia's draconian refugee and asylum policies, which affect lesbian/gay refugees and asylum seekers from oppressive countries of origin:

And we've just received this response from Scott Piro:

I enjoyed Craig's piece, and I thought he might appreciate knowing about a refugee advocacy organization with a focus on LGBTs: ORAM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration.  ORAM’s mission is to advocate for refugees fleeing sexual or gender based violence. 

Among our projects, ORAM is currently providing legal representation to LGBT refugees in Turkey in proceedings before the UNHCR.  Our caseload comprises all known LGBT refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey.  (The vast majority of these are Iranians fleeing execution or other severe punishment.)  In July we published the first-ever report ( to expose the dire conditions these LGBT refugees face.  Our report was sourced in October by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights (

Alongside direct client representation, ORAM also conducts public education and advocacy in the US and internationally.  Specifically, we aim for the State Department to make available a modest number of slots for resettling those who were rendered refugees due to their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

We are also piloting a groundbreaking new program entitled “refugee community empowerment.”  Many of our LGBT refugee clients suffer from post-traumatic-stress-syndrome and have difficulty working (or even staying safe).  We are lifting their self-esteem and giving them a sense of purpose by having them take an active role in community information and organization, as well as in moving along their own cases.  Several clients are serving as direct ORAM volunteers, and assisting other clients with the application process.

Details of our work and mission appear on our website.  Whether your concern is LGBT rights, refugee rights or both, we invite you to learn more about us by visiting


Scott Piro

Communications Consultant

on behalf of

ORAM - Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration

Tel: +1 415 373-5299|Fax: + 1 415 373 9191|
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