11 November 2020
LGBT+ people seeking asylum in the UK face mockery and derision from interpreters, damning report warns
The report from the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, published on Wednesday (November 11), flagged concerns about the way people seeking asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity are treated during Home Office processes.
According to the report, stakeholders had raised concerns that “interpreter bias” has a large impact on applications among LGBT+ asylum claimants.
It warns: “One [stakeholder] argued that this was particularly prevalent in LGBTQI+ claims, with applicants reporting interpreters using derogatory slang and making judgements, which impacted the confidence of applicants.
“Another referred to reports from LGBTQI+ applicants about interpreters ‘mistranslating, rebuking or judging people, or being dismissive of their fears such as the death penalty’.
“There were concerns that applicants could feel inhibited about talking about their claim which could affect the decision.”
According to the report, the Home Office’s Asylum Operations unit had “confirmed stakeholders’ concerns, commenting that with some LGBTQI+ claims they could ‘feel the tension’ between the applicant and interpreter.”