Norway gov confirms it is to prioritise LGBTQ+ refugees

July 11, 2020

The Norway Government has confirmed it is to prioritise LGBTQ+ refugees, recognising that persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation may be a reason for moving.

Grunde Kreek Almeland, State Secretary for Integration Affairs in the Ministry of Education, said: ‘Unfortunately, in many countries, you are not free to love who you want.

‘In nearly 70 countries, homosexuality is criminal and those who violate gender and sexuality norms may be subject to persecution and discrimination in their home country”.

‘We are now changing the guidelines for the work of transfer refugees so that [LGBTQ+] persons … should be given priority.’

In 2020, Norway was set a ‘floating quota’ to welcome 3,000 transfer refugees each year. Under previous guidelines, vulnerable women and children were given priority. The new rules will only apply for the transfer of refugees from one asylum country to another for permanent resettlement.

Polish MEP Sylwia Spurek added her praise, tweeting that ‘every country should approach human rights in this way.’

Activists have warned that the guidelines must also be strictly implemented in practice. In their annual report, ILGA-Europe ranked Norway fifth in the continent for LGBTQ+ human rights in 2020, including an 84% rating for asylum issues.

To see the ILGA-Europe report, CLICK HERE.