LGBT asylum seekers to be relocated from tent camp

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender asylum seekers have a right to a safe environment and in extreme cases a threatened LGBT asylum seeker should be relocated to another asylum center, Nijmegen mayor Hubert Burls said after many criticisms on how asylum seekers are treated in the Heumensoord tent camp and reports on routine harassment of LGBT people, Dutch newspaper AD reports.

Bruls is still very much against separate safe houses for LGBT asylum seekers, but believes that if an asylum seeker is not safe in the Heumensoord tent camp, he or she should be relocated somewhere else - another asylum center or even a shelter outside the asylum system. "A safe place yes, a safe environment for gay asylum seekers who are really threatened. That is different from shouting ugly things about someone." he said. in a letter to the Nijmegen municipal council. The mayor believes that the main focus should be in stopping bullying and threats in emergency shelters. That is best done by tackling the perpetrators.

The Nijmegen council will discuss the safety of LGBT asylum seekers on Wednesday. According to AD, many factions are in favor of creating safe houses for LGBT asylum seekers. Especially after gay interest group COC published a death threat one asylum seeker in the camp found under his bed.

The Heumensoord tent camp was always intended to only be a temporary emergency shelter for asylum seekers. It opened in October last year and will close on June 1st. In April the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA will announce its plan for moving the about 3 thousand asylum seekers currently living in the camp, ANP reports.