For the first episode of Sub Rosa, Andrew spoke with Jaz Dawson, a director of the Kaleidoscope Australia Human Rights Foundation.
We discussed an aspect of refugee policy that doesn’t get much media attention: the experiences of asylum seekers trying to escape persecution for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.
The episode covers not only the types of persecution that occur, but also the problems encountered when making asylum claims in Western countries. Someone who may have had to spend their whole life denying being gay, to avoid brutal treatment, then has to prove to officials in Australia, Canada, the UK and elsewhere that they are in fact gay and are at risk of persecution. Sometimes the processes they have to go through to prove their asylum claims are based on outdated assumptions, and can even involve further violations of human rights.
Jaz discusses this in detail in the interview, and also talks about Kaleidoscope’s work in trying to address this, and her own research in the area.