Plenary 1 : Where Are We Now? An Assessment of Law and Policy in Ireland in Respect of LGBTQI+ Asylum Claims. Dr Patricia Brazil, Barrister and Averil Deverell Lecturer in Law, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland 

Patricia Brazil LL.B., M.Litt, Ph.D., Barrister-at-Law, is the Averil Deverell Lecturer in Law at Trinity College Dublin where she lectures in refugee and immigration law, family law and child law. She has also practised as a barrister since 2004, specialising in the areas of asylum and immigration, family and child law. 

Plenary 2: Evgeny Shtorn, Dublin, Ireland

Evgeny Shtorn is a writer, activist and researcher from St. Petersburg. In 2018, he was forced to leave Russia. In 2019, he was granted international protection in the Republic of Ireland. His writing has been published in academic journals, anthologies and new media outlets in Russia, Spain, Germany, and Ireland. As an activist, Shtorn has been involved in human rights and LGBT advocacy for almost two decades. In 2020, Shtorn was awarded the GALAs Person of the Year award by the National LGBT Federation of Ireland

Plenary 3: Mapping Homo/Transphobia: The Valorisation of the LGBT Protection Category in the Refugee-Granting System. Dr Calogero Giametta, Aix-Marseille Université, France 

Calogero Giametta, Ph.D.,  is a sociologist with a research focus on gender, sexuality and the political economy of migration. He is affiliated to the Laboratoire de Sociologie (LAMES) of Aix-Marseille University. His work to date has specifically analyzed migrant sex work, the right of asylum for LGBTQ people, and anti-human trafficking interventions in western Europe. He is the author ofThe Sexual Politics of Asylum (Routledge, 2017).

Three Panels:

Panel 1: Seeking Refuge in a Prejudiced Land - LGBTQ+ Asylum-Seekers in Illiberal Hungary

Dr Lilla Hárdi M.D. has been working as the medical director and the psychiatrist of Cordelia Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims since 1996 in Budapest, Hungary and personally examined and treated survivors of torture, writing several medical-legal reports. Dr Zoltán Somogyvári has been working for the Hungarian Helsinki Committee - one of Hungary's top human rights NGOs - for 10 years. He spent his first 8 years representing asylum-seekers in their asylum procedures, and refugees to be able to reunite with their loved ones. Both are going to discuss the situation of LGBT asylum seekers when faced with a government's homophobic and transphobic agenda.


Panel 2: Assessing and Assisting Transgender asylum 

Mariza Avgeri will present her paper, Towards a Theoretical Framework for Assessing Transgender Asylum Claims. Reflecting on theoretical frameworks for exploring transgender phaenomena in the context of refugee law, Maria proposes an intersectional, narrative approach to gender identity construction. This will be followed by a discussion with Gillian Brien (Project Leader, BeLonG To, Ireland) and others who will offer their response to the paper, in addition to offering insight into their collective experience advocating for trans asylum seekers and refugees. This informal session will be chaired  by Dr Ernesto.Vasquez del Aguila (University College Dublin) 

Panel 3: Hidden Lives -Hidden Stress 

Mick Quinlan, (Volunteer Director & Founder of the  Gay Health Network, Ireland)  and Daniel McCartney, (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK) will discuss how reaching MSM who are migrants, refugees or asylum seekers has presented difficulties especially in relation to homophobia and fear of being out.  Many LGBTI communities and STI services do have some contact based on the need of the individual who attends for a service or support.  This panel will discuss the Men From Afar reports, EMIS-2017 Ireland Community Report 4 (on men not born in the Republic of Ireland), and some details from the full EMIS 2017 report.  

Four encounters:

Curated Walk: Carlos Motta

Carlos Motta's multi-disciplinary art practice documents the social conditions and political struggles of sexual, gender, and ethnic minority communities in order to challenge dominant and normative discourses through visibility and self-representation. As a historian of untold narratives and an archivist of repressed histories, Motta is committed to in-depth research on the struggles of post-colonial subjects and societies.  

Interview: Asylum, Between Persecution and Sanctuary? Bulelani Mfaco 

Growing up in the apartheid ghetto of Khayelitsha in Cape Town, Bulelani Mfaco became involved at an early age in protests for adequate housing & access to land with Abahlali BaseMjondolo, health care in the Khayelitsha Health Forum, and improved policing in neighbourhood watches. In  2017 he claimed asylum, seeking protection from violence and targeted killings of LGBT+ people. He is one of the Spokespersons at MASI – the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland where he is campaigning for the right to work for all asylum seekers,  and to end the Direct Provision system. 


Discussion: Beyond Bangladesh

This session will consist of an informal dialogue with  LGBT+ Bangladeshi refugees, on their lived experiences of fleeing their home country, travelling the world in order to arrive in France, and the intersectional issues at stake. 

Roundtable: Access & Supports for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the LGBT community

How can LGBT services best respond to the needs of Asylum Seekers or Refugees who may be LGBTI? What are the existing supports available, and what are the gaps in provision to this vulnerable and 'hard to reach' cohort? How can we ensure the voices and participation of Asylum seekers/refugees are encouraged in queer communities? With Diego Caixeta, HIV Ireland /John Paul O'Brien, Safe Space-Outhouse / Collette O'Regan, LGBT Ireland / Trina Tsai, former BeLonG To and services users from Ireland.