This week read about organizations advocating for LGBT refugees in Kenya's "highly homophobic" Block 13 camp, and the British officers who were discharged for their sexual orientation reclaiming their medals again.
Major LGBT Organizations Advocate for Block 13 Refugees in Kenya
Two major LGBT organizations urged the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to move to safety all LGBT refugees on the “highly homophobic” Block 13 in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp, according to a joint statement from both organizations.
The Pan Africa International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and Global Interfaith Network for People of all Sexes, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities and Expressions proposed the UNHCR move all LGBT refugees to a vacant, fenced and guarded space a few meters away from Block 13, according to the statement.
Block 13 houses the highest number of LGBT refugees in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, and has seen an increase in attacks since June 2020.
From Jan. 25 to as recent as Feb. 17, Block 13 has seen violence including rape, fire, theft and stoning of both adults and children, including the stoning and injury of a 3-month-old, according to the statement.
The statement came before a “long overdue” meeting between the UNHCR and Block 13.
British Officers Discharged for Sexual Orientation Now Able to Reclaim Medals
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British military personnel discharged on the basis of sexuality will be able to apply to have medals restored, Britain’s Ministry of Defence announced.
The British military discharged many members of the armed forces based on sexual orientation before 2000, and convicted many for then-criminalized homosexual behavior, according to a MOD statement published on Feb. 16. British service members either forfeited medals or were denied the ability to regain them.
Service members must show clear evidence their discharges were connected to sexuality, according to the statement.
Convictions for sexual offenses must be disregarded by the British Home Office, Northern Ireland’s Department of Justice or the Scottish Government, according to the U.K. government’s website.
Deceased individuals who were discharged for their sexuality may also apply through next of kin, provided they have not received a conviction, according to the statement. Only living individuals can be disregarded for convictions based on sexual offenses.