According to this paper:

Even so, since 2002 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been working on issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation through the publication of guidelines and notes. Internationally, asylum has been recognized because of reasons based on gender and sexuality since the 1980s. The Netherlands was the first country to provide asylum along these lines, followed by Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom (Gorish, 2017). Although migrations because of gender and sexuality are not new, the numbers on the so-called “LGBTI+ asylum” have been progressively increasing worldwide in the last decades, imposing the need for new normative reflections and creative measures.

Do a majority of European countries accept LGBTI+ asylum seekers? The paper seems to suggest that a lot of countries now accept LGBTI+ asylum seekers, and that it has been progressively increasing worldwide in the last decades. Now, I am wondering if a majority of countries accept these types of refugees within Europe.

  • Do you want to know if they accept any, a particular fraction, or all? You can't make a simple claim that a country does or doesn't accept LGBT asylum seekers. Many will accept some claimants, but not all. The UK and many other countries have been clamping down on all kinds of asylum claimants, and trying to make it harder for specific groups short of a total ban. In theory the definition of refugee includes anyone facing persecution for membership of a "particular social group". But the precise interpretation of that phrase varies.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 5 at 16:48
  • 2
    Does "LGBTI+ asylum seekers" mean people who are seeking asylum specifically due to persecution for being LGBTI+? Or does it mean everyone who is LGBTI+ and also happens to be seeking asylum somewhere? Mar 5 at 17:20
  • How, please, could that be about Politics, unless you see the idea that anyone might be LGBTI+ as political? Mar 6 at 0:31
  • @RobbieGoodwin It's about immigration policy, which is clearly political.
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 6 at 7:48
  • @F1Krazy Thanks and I think it's about morality and prejudice which clearly influence politics but they're equivalent. Mar 6 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


A qualified 'yes.'

The EU countries in principle accept persecution because of sexual identity as a reason for asylum (EU directive, article 10 section 1 d). Not all of them are enthusiastic about it, and some make it harder than others to prove persecution for this group in a particular place or membership in the protected group.

(Depening on how Europe is counted, they might make a majority of the European countries. Or not.)

  • NB: Only about half of European countries are in the EU.
    – gerrit
    Mar 5 at 15:53
  • @gerrit, fewer if you count all those with the bad taste to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. But I did add the qualifier "EU countries."
    – o.m.
    Mar 5 at 16:03
  • 1
    You did, but the question was about European countries. EU countries are on average probably unites more LGBTI+-friendly than non-EU European countries, though.
    – gerrit
    Mar 5 at 16:14
  • Rainbow Europe gives some ratings like 31% of European countries and 38% of EU countries have ok asylum policies, but their standards (which alas I could not find very detailed) might be stricter than the Directive. rainbow-europe.org Mar 6 at 3:14

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