Events archive 2014
Somewhere over the rainbow: the perils of protection for queer asylum seekers
24 November 2014
Whether assessed by reference to cultural tropes and stereotypes or invasive and degrading medical examinations, queer refugees face particular challenges and potential for human rights violations. In Australia, claims based on sexual orientation persecution have been decided with reference to knowledge of popular culture and gay venues; asylum seekers arriving by boat are facing re-settlement in countries where they could be imprisoned for homosexual acts; and recent legislative changes raise uncertainty about whether queer asylum seekers may be denied protection if they can ‘modify’ their behaviour to avoid harm.
Join us for a panel discussion with international and Australian experts and a LGBTI activist from the Ukraine who has successfully sought protection in Australia.
Sydney – Thursday 4 December, 5:45pm for a 6pm start (event will conclude at 7.30pm)
King & Wood Mallesons, Level 61, Governor Phillip Tower
1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000 (Light refreshments provided)
Melbourne – Monday 8 December, 5:45pm for a 6pm start (event will conclude at 7.30pm)
King & Wood Mallesons, Level 50, Bourke Place,
600 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000 (Light refreshments provided)
Full price: $25 Concession/NGO price: $15 (funds support the work of the RCA and HRLC)
Neil Grungras – Founder & Executive Director of ORAM International
The leading recognized expert worldwide on LGBTI refugees, Neil Grungras is a refugee and immigration advocate with 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He has worked extensively on behalf of vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers.
Krystyna Posunkina – LGBTI activist and refugee from the Ukraine
Krystyna was born in the Ukraine, a country that achieved independence after the USSR collapsed but remains conservative and hostile to social activities that fall outside the “norm”, such as homosexuality and human rights activism. After many years of helping communities to stand up for their rights, Krytyna and her partner were forced to flee themselves and the couple were able to settle in Australia as refugees.
Jemma Hollands – Refugee lawyer (Sydney event only)
Jemma Hollonds is a Senior Solicitor and Migration Agent at the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) in Sydney. RACS is a specialist community legal centre that provides free legal advice and assistance to asylum seekers and refugees seeking protection and family reunion in Australia.
Daniel Webb – Director of Legal Advocacy, Human Rights Law Centre
Daniel has worked with the HRLC since 2012 and leads much of its work on refugee rights and the rights of people in all forms of detention.
Senthorun Raj – LGBTI and refugee activist and academic (Melbourne event only)
Senthorun Raj is a human rights advocate specialising in LGBTI issues. Sen recently completed a Churchill Fellowship examining the advocacy and adjudication of sexual orientation and gender identity based asylum claims in the US and the UK. Sen is currently working on finishing his PhD at the Sydney Law School.
The Sydney event will be opened by Tim Wilson – Human Rights Commissioner & spokesperson on LGBTI issues, Australian Human Rights Commission.
Panel discussions moderated by Anna Brown – Director of Advocacy & Strategic Litigation, Human Rights Law Centre.
Generously hosted by King & Wood Mallesons