Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) forced migrants and asylum seekers: Multiple Discriminations

Guillain Koko, Surya Monro, Kate Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter addresses the issue of forced migration amongst LGBTQI Africans, based on original empirical material from qualitative studies conducted in South Africa with refugees from countries including Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. LGBTQI people become forced migrants for a number of reasons, including internal displacement, fleeing violence and prejudice, or being deported. Whilst some of these grounds for forced migration are shared with other migrants, others are LGBTQI-specific, in particular where migration is due to persecution relating to gender or sexual identity. The chapter provides an overview of international, pan-African and national human rights instruments regarding forced LGBTQ migrants. It then focuses on the experiences of forced LGBTQ migrants in South Africa. Key difficulties include a lack of legal status, xenophobic violence and prejudice, and insufficient access to housing and employment. The chapter illuminates the discriminations faced by forced LGBTQ migrants in South Africa, in their relations with state institutions. It uses intersectionality theory in understanding the multiple marginalisations that African LGBTQI forced migrants and asylum seekers face, and their invisibility, as well as the coping strategies that some of them use. In so doing, the chapter develops knowledge about human rights deficits and in addition contributes to African approaches to intersectionality studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQueer in Africa
Subtitle of host publicationLGBTQI Identities, Citizenship, and Activism
EditorsZethu Matebeni, Surya Monro, Vasu Reddy
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781315406749
ISBN (Print)9781138222847, 9780367460167
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in Critical Diversities


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