Rally today in The Hague to protest against homophobia in Dutch asylum centers
A rally to protest against homophobia and violence towards people of diverse sexualities and genders in asylum seekers’ centers in the Netherlands will take place at the International Gay Rights Monument in The Hague on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The event is organized by Rainbow Rights Activists, a group of activists in support of the LGBTQIA+ community in the Netherlands.
The rally aims to draw attention to the issue of homophobia in asylum centers, according to Rosalie, 29, one of the organizers who spoke with NL Times. She explained that LGBTQIA+ individuals, who often have become refugees due to extreme homophobia in their home countries, endure daily violence and humiliation in refugee centers, with some even resorting to suicide.
She said this group of people lacks sufficient protection and medical care when facing acts of violence and humiliation, and the problems are often overlooked or not taken seriously. "Homophobia is swept under the rug," she said, which creates an unsafe environment for the LGBTQIA+ community. She noted that employees in these centers often do not take these problems seriously and that by turning a blind eye to these acts of violence, they are encouraging and normalizing homophobia. “Victims are not being heard, and perpetrators can go further without punishment.”
Rosalie, who works in the care sector and comes from the Netherlands, explained that this situation is particularly “appalling” in a country that prides itself on being a leader in LGBTQIA+ rights. "Our country was the first to legalize same-sex marriage," she said, “but the situation it getting worse.” She pointed out that what is happening in asylum centers is an example of the growing homophobia in the Netherlands. "The situation is deteriorating everywhere, not just in asylum centers."
The organizers pointed out that the Netherlands has fallen in the Rainbow Index, falling from a 4th place ranking in 2014 to 13th globally in 2022. This index is a tool used to measure the level of legal and social acceptance and protection of LGBT+ people in different countries.
The event's organizers are calling for an end to the silence surrounding these acts of violence in asylum seekers' centers and are demanding "protection and safety" for the affected individuals. They are not seeking specific measures but want to raise awareness about this issue, which is frequently ignored by the public. "The goal is to be seen and heard, to demonstrate what is happening in these centers and in our society," Rosalie said.