17/12/2019 | Writer: Kaos GL

Kaos GL Association publishes the activities of its programs that create areas of work and struggle.

What does the Kaos GL Association Refugee Rights Program do? Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Illustration: Aslı Alpar

The Kaos GL Association, which celebrates its age of 25, publishes the activities of its programs that create areas of work and struggle. Today we will share the working areas of the Refugee Rights Program with kaosGL.org readers. 

The Refugee Rights Program aims to make it easier for LGBTI+ refugees to access basic rights, government bodies and social networks in the cities where they reside. In this respect, the program provides legal and social counseling through lawyers and social workers working within the program. In addition, the program organizes trainings and social activities on various subjects in the field.

The program carries out its work in 6 topics. 

Consultancy activities

The Refugee Rights Program team regularly visits LGBTI+ refugees throughout the year and conducts individual case interviews with clients. Provides counseling regarding the obstacles against the refugee and LGBTI+’s in access to the rights and services and provides need-based guidance to the institutions, especially UNHCR. In addition to face-to-face counseling, the program also provides counsel in Persian, Arabic, Turkish and English by phone and mail. The consultancies provided are regularly recorded monthly and reporting activities are carried out in this respect. The detailed scope of legal and social consultancy activities carried out within the program is as follows:

·       The social worker provides information to the clients on the asylum procedure, satellite cities, rights and obligations, and sanctions. It directs clients in need of legal support to lawyers and bar associations, especially to Kaos GL's lawyers.

·       Directs consultants who request financial support to institutions that provide financial support in the local areas. When necessary, it communicates with agents working in these institutions. 

·       It directs the clients who contacted Kaos GL on physical and mental health issues to accessible, non-homophobic and non-transphobic hospitals and doctors. If health services are inadequate in different cities, it redirects to the nearest city which is sufficient. It acts together with the clients in the process of making appointments from hospitals. In addition, it contacts UNHCR and local institutions for travel and interpreter support.

·       It provides the correct information on trans-transition and hormone treatment processes to the clients. Since there are very few hospitals in Turkey that can handle these processes, it directs them to competent hospitals. When there is no access to hormones, they communicate with the necessary institutions.

·       The social worker informs LGBTI refugees who wish to continue their education about the procedure. It directs clients who wish to learn languages to local educational institutions. 

·       The program provides advice on security/social life and, where necessary, refers for a change of the city of residence. 

·       Kaos GL helps clients who want to meet LGBTI’s and LGBTI organizations in their city to communicate with activists and LGBTI communities in those cities. It shares information on activities organized in different cities where clients can be integrated. 

·       It communicates with institutions working with refugees in the cities concerned in order to provide support where translation support is needed. 

Social activities for refugee LGBTI+’s

The Refugee Rights Program organizes social activities to strengthen solidarity with refugee LGBTI+, and to increase visibility. What the activities will be and their content is determined by the requests and notifications of need from the counselees. Drama workshops that are held at different intervals throughout the year, football matches where the red card is shown to racism and homophobia, drawing workshops, workshops that discuss the "body" and "violence", and picnics are among these. Given the extreme isolation of LGBTI refugees in satellite cities, these social activities function as a way to establish contact for mutual support and solidarity. 

The works produced in the workshops and the discussed agendas take their place at www.kaosgl.org in order to make visible the produced word and solidarity.

Human rights and gender identity trainings for refugee rights workers

These trainings aim to provide NGO and State employees who are in direct contact with LGBTI refugees with a holistic view of the development, discrimination, and stigma of sexual identities beyond the basic LGBTI concepts. In this context, the program provides two-day expert trainings in the provinces where the institutions working in the field are concentrated. In this regard, Kaos GL aims to create a platform to identify the specific needs of LGBTI refugees at the provincial level and to discuss what needs to be done to avoid ignoring them. Regional case studies are conducted to make discussions on, and a forum is organized to discuss problems, solutions, and what can be done to create safe spaces. 

Assessment meetings with LGBTI+ refugees 

The Refugee Rights Program organizes meetings where the scope and qualities of provided consultancies, held events in the provinces of field activities, and what activities can be organized in the following year are discussed. The work is reviewed and next years activities are planned under the light of feedbacks received and needs identified at these meetings. The meeting outputs shape the policy of the refugee rights program.

Detection meetings with refugee LGBTI+’s 

With these meetings, obstacles that refugee LGBTI+'s, who come from different countries, have to face in access to rights and services in the provinces where they live are discussed, and the detection of discrimination, racism, stigmatization due to refugee and LGBTI+ identities, and what policies can be developed together to overcome them are identified.

Written production 

Kaos GL conducts the reporting of the outputs obtained as a result of the above activities.

Kaos GL Magazine and www.kaosgl.org news site regularly publishes content about the agendas on refugee LGBTI+'s.

In addition, it has published a special refugee issue aimed at eliminating the disidentificatory effect of being a refugee LGBTI+ and aiming to ensure the practices of reproduction of lives for LGBTI refugees on a beyond-borders axis can find a voice in their own language.

Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz

Tags: human rights