Asylum and Humanitarian Protection for lesbian, gay and bisexual people


If you need any support or information about claiming asylum in the UK please contact Stonewall's Information Service by completing our online form or call us on 08000 50 20 20. Our freephone service is open Mon-Fri, 9.30am to 5.30pm.

You can also download Stonewall's guide on Asylum and Humanitarian Protection 

What is asylum?
Stonewall's work in the UK
Stonewall's work internationally
Where to find more support 

What is asylum?

An asylum seeker is someone of any age who has fled his or her home country to find a safe place elsewhere. A refugee is someone whose asylum application is successful.

In many countries lesbian, gay and bisexual people face execution, torture, rape and murder from people in their own community or from their government. People who face the threat of this type of persecution can seek sanctuary in the UK.

Stonewall's work

In 2010 Stonewall published No Going Back: lesbian and gay people and the asylum system, research which is based on interviews with asylum seekers and UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff. It found systemic failures in our asylum system resulting in legitimate lesbian, gay and bisexual asylum seekers regularly being refused asylum in the UK.

UKBA and the Home Office have subsequently acknowledged that the asylum system has failed many lesbian, gay and bisexual asylum seekers and the Government has made a commitment to cease sending gay people back to countries where they face persecution. Stonewall has worked constructively with the UKBA to improve how it deals with lesbian, gay and bisexual asylum seekers.

Stonewall's International Work

Being gay is illegal in over 78 countries across the world and being a lesbian is illegal in 49. In 5 countries same-sex sexual activity carries the death penalty.

Stonewall is sharing its lobbying approach and tools with activists fighting for the rights of gay people worldwide. We’re lobbying the UK Government and international organisations to advance equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people worldwide.

Read more about Stonewall's international work.

More support

Contact Stonewalls Information Service

Find local LGBT groups and gay friendly legal advisors

The UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group - Based in London. This group offers support and access to legal advice.

No Going Back - based near Leeds. This groups offers support and access to legal advice. 


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Info bank

If you cannot find the information you need on this website, you can call our info line on 08000 50 20 20 (Mon-Fri 9:30am - 5:30pm) and we will try to point you in the right direction.