Marginalisation of asylum seekers due to sexual orientation to be discussed in public event

Posted by es328 at Feb 17, 2017 11:53 AM |
University of Leicester hosts seminar on sexuality in relation to international issues and migration as part of a number of events for LGBT+ History Month

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 17 February 2017

Research into the marginalisation of asylum seekers due to their sexual orientation will be discussed at a free, public event at the University of Leicester on Wednesday 22 February.

Geographical studies of sexualities and legislation for LGBT+ migration will also be discussed at the seminar.

Dr Gavin Brown, Dr Tracy Simmons and Dr Loveday Hodson will discuss their research as part of a series of events hosted by the University of Leicester for LGBT+ History Month.

Dr Loveday Hodson, Associate Professor of Law, has written extensively on LGBT rights under international law and she will explore how the European Court of Human Rights has dealt with claims from those seeking asylum from persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Dr Hodson said: “Migration is a pressing contemporary issue. Asylum seekers are a marginalised and vulnerable group – and those seeking asylum on the grounds of their sexual orientation are faced with the near-impossible task of having to prove their sexual orientation, often having previously been compelled to hide that aspect of their lives.”

Dr Gavin Brown, Associate Professor of Human Geography, said “I am proud to be contributing to the University’s LGBT+ History Month programme.

“It is very exciting to see so many events happening on campus, celebrating the diversity of the university community, and showcasing the important work being undertaken by researchers at the University celebrating LGBT+ cultures and thinking critically about the politics of sexual orientation and gender identity in a rapidly changing world.”

Dr Brown is a world leading expert in the geographical study of sexualities and is one of the editors of “The Routledge Research Companion to Geographies of Sex and Sexualities” which was published last year.

He said: “I am interested in understanding how people’s sexuality and gender identity is affected by where they live in the world.

“In my contribution to the research seminar on the LGBT+ World, I will be examining the debates surrounding the United Nation’s creation of an ‘Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity’ last year.

“This is the first time the UN has appointed a high profile international expert to work on these issues. In my talk, I will examine the significance of this development and consider how sexual orientation and gender identity has rapidly become a matter of geopolitics.”

Dr Tracy Simmons, lecturer in Media and Communication, will discuss her research which has focused on queer couple migration to the UK, within the context of the European Union.

Dr Simmons said: “In my talk I want to set out the way in which, firstly, until 1997, UK immigration policy had no recognition for what they call ‘same-sex relationships’.

“Interestingly, the initial ‘concession’ was one of the first pieces of legislation in the UK that recognised LGBT+ relationships and preceded further legal developments in the arena of same-sex relationships.”

Dr Simmons will explore the current and future prospects for LGBT+ couple migration and how this will effect communities in the UK.

The seminar is free and open to all. It will take place in Bennett Lower Ground Floor, Lecture Theatre 5, between 12pm and 1pm on Wednesday 22 February.

The seminar is just one of a number of events held at the University of Leicester for LGBT+ History Month. More information is available here:

For bookings contact:


Notes to editors:

University of Leicester academic contacts:

Dr Tracy Simmons: 0116 223 1881 or

Dr Loveday Hodson: 0116 233 1374 or

Dr Gavin Brown: 0116 252 3858 or

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