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ORAM is deeply concerned about a recent change in Australia’s immigration policy that threatens to put LGBTI refugees at even greater risk.

The new policy requires all refugees arriving in Australia by boat to be held indefinitely in an Australian facility in neighboring Papua New Guinea, where homosexuality punishable by up to 14 years in prison. “Instead of being processed and protected in Australia, LGBTI asylum seekers are being sent to a place that sees them as pathological and criminal. At best, they’re condemned to extortion and abuse; at worst, death,” said Neil Grungras, ORAM founder and executive director. ORAM voiced this concern through its membership in the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, in an official statement released August 2nd.

Excerpt from the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network Statement published on August 2, 2013:

Of further concern is the fact that some individuals may be newly persecuted in Papua New Guinea. For example, under Papua New Guinean law, homosexuality is criminalised with penalties of up to 14 years in prison, and Papua New Guinea has made no undertaking to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) asylum seekers and refugees from prosecution and imprisonment. Similar concerns have been expressed regarding women refugees, who may be subject to violence or persecution in Papua New Guinea due to their gender.

About ORAM Headquartered in San Francisco, California, ORAM – Organisation for Refuge, Asylum & Migration (ORAM) is the leading global advocate for people fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. ORAM increases global support for thousands of refugees and asylum seekers through advocacy and education, and provides technical assistance to individuals and groups interested in working with LGBTI refugees, asylees, and asylum seekers. Learn more at

As the only European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) member dedicated exclusively to advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) refugees, ORAM is proud to work with European partners to inform policymakers on effective handling of LGBTI refugee claims, promote sensible LGBTI asylum policy, andpromote more effective training on LGBTI asylum adjudication. We are determined to help adjudication of LGBTI asylum cases in Europe become the most sophisticated and accurate in the world.

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