To mark World Refugee Day 2022, LGBT Ireland has released a powerful new video amplifying the voices of five LGBTQ+ refugees living in Ireland. First instated on June 20, 2001, World Refugee Day is marked globally to celebrate and honour refugees from around the world.
As World Refugee Day 2022 coincides with the start of Dublin Pride week LGBT Ireland put out the film stating that the organisation “recognises and salutes the courage of all LGBTI+ people forced to flee their homes and come to Ireland seeking safety and a new beginning free of conflict and persecution.”
The short video begins with each of the participants expressing what home means to them. Basira, an Afghan woman begins, “Home is a place where we can be ourself, where we can live freely, where we can breathe freely, where we can enjoy being ourselves, where we can be happy with our lovers, with our family, with our friends.”
Many of the participants stress how they have not moved to Ireland by choice. As Ibrahim, another participant puts it “Refugees are human beings and most people given the choice of fleeing or staying back home with their families, I think most people would want to stay back.”
Yousef stresses how he misses his life back home. “I still belong to Afghanistan… to my culture, to everything that I had in Afghanistan. So if I had the chance to live freely in Afghanistan with my family, with my friends, I would be very happy.”
As well as discussing what home means to them, the participants also send their “Message to Ireland”. Yousef says, “It’s not an easy decision to leave your country, so when they come here they come with hope. So they should be equal no matter if they are white or dark or black. All the refugees like from Ukraine, from Afghanistan, from other countries, they should be respected equally.”
World Refugee Day is coming up next Monday 20 June!
Everyone has a right to seek safety – whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they are forced to flee.
Want to get involved?
— UNHCR Ireland (@UNHCRIreland) June 13, 2022
Basira echoes Yousef’s call for respect saying “We respect others and we deserve to be respected as well.” She ends with a positive message, “Thank you so much Ireland, for opening your heart for us, for giving us the opportunity to be safe, to be ourselves, for supporting us to start a new life.”
The film concludes with LGBT Ireland calling for governmental action: “We urge the Minister for Justice to issue more visas to LGBT+ people trying to escape Afghanistan.” They also stress the dangers of Direct Provision for LGBTQ+ people saying “We urge the Irish Government to hasten achieving its goal of ending Direct Provision by end of 2024.”
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