The leading organisation in tackling poverty and promoting integration of LGBTI refugees in the UK

MRI operations in United KingdomWhile homosexuality is criminalised in 76 countries we know that LGBTI citizens populating the other 120 countries also experience persecution, exclusion, and discrimination. Some LGBTI people claim asylum in the UK on the basis of their sexual orientation, and/or their gender identity, and/or the way their bodies look.

We estimate that approximately 1,300 LGB people are granted asylum annually in the UK with the majority quickly falling below the poverty line (Margaret’s story).

The rapid descent into poverty is the result of layers of discrimination experienced by lesbian and gay refugees because of their refugee status, race, sexuality, and culture. These refugees carry the pain of surviving persecution in their country of origin, a trauma detrimental to anyone’s self-esteem and confidence, and worsened by the fact that the horror appeared to have followed them to the UK with many reporting feeling unsafe around co-nationals and other heterosexual refugees.

Those that are able to stay have shared many stories – stories of resilience borne of difficult childhoods, long journeys, and painful choices. The LGBTI Refugee Small Business project is the result of a commitment we made after spending a long period of time sitting with these unique refugees, observing and listening.

Our 2014 report, Poverty, Sexual Orientation and Refugees in the UK, revealed upsetting details, including:
  • Most lesbian and gay refugees in the UK live below the poverty line.
  • Lesbian and gay refugees encounter layers of employment discrimination and family rejection (exacerbating their situation of poverty) unseen by heterosexual refugees.

With this project MRI wants to improve incomes, opportunities, and chances at a better life for LGBTI refugees. We do this by:

For a summary of our activities and opportunities for LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers in the UK please see our leaflet.

For more information about our work with LGBTI refugees in the UK, sign up to receive our quarterly e-bulletin or please email MRI’s LGBTI Refugees’ Mentor, Moud Goba

Get our updates and find out how we could support you!

Download MRI Report

Download our Leaflet

Related posts

Press Release – The first safe house for LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees opens in the UK

November 7, 2017: In October 2017 Rashid and Maria [1], two asylum seekers from Bangladesh and El Salvador, entered the first safe house in the UK created by Micro Rainbow International (MRI) [1], a house that is exclusively for LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees. MRI’s safe housing project was officially...

Read More

MRI wins Thomson Reuters Foundation Innovation Award 2017

October 3, 2017: We are thrilled to announce that on 26th September 2017, MRI won the Innovation Award at the 2017 TrustLaw Awards for its work in creating the “first LGBTI safe house in the UK”. The Innovation Award recognises MRI’s work with the international law firm Weil, Gotshal &...

Read More

Barry’s Oxford Half Marathon

September 19, 2017: Barry O’Leary is a solicitor and partner at Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP and is running the Oxford Half Marathon on 8 October 2017. Barry has kindly offered to use the challenge to raise money for Micro Rainbow International. Less than three years ago, Barry (in his words) ‘couldn’t run...

Read More

Let’s end LGBTI homelessness

July 26, 2017: In 78 countries homosexuality is illegal. About 1,500 LGBTI refugees from those countries come to the UK every year. When they come to the UK they are still not safe. Like Mary, a lesbian from Nigeria and Amir, a gay man from Algeria. Because of their sexuality, they: were abused in...

Read More
x