Refugees flee their homes from war, persecution and violence. Only to be met with yet more hardship in the UK. A new country and language. Stigma and suspicion. Four times more likely to be unemployed. A completely different work culture to navigate.
Often refugees are left to face these barriers alone and can struggle to find meaningful employment. Some of the barriers they face include:
- Employment gaps on CVs due to the lengthy asylum process
- Lack of UK work experience
- Limited understanding of the UK job market and no professional networksF
- Non-recognition of qualifications
We are a specialist refugee employment charity, but we know that the barriers and challenges refugees face are varied and interconnected. For example, there are 71 countries where LGBTQ+ individuals are labelled as criminals and likely to face discrimination, harassment, and violence.
Alongside the trauma of experiencing persecution because of your identity, when trying to build a new life in the UK, LGBTQ+ refugees are still likely to face challenges in the workplace. According to Stonewall,
- One in five LGBTQ+ people are the target of negative comments at work.
- Over a third of LGBTQ+ people feel the need to hide who they are at work.
- One in five feel that being LGBTQ+ limits their job opportunities.
If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, here are five organisations you can go to if you need support.
1) Rainbow Migration provides legal information and advice to LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in the hopes of improving the treatment of LGBTQ+ people and giving them the opportunity to improve their self-esteem and reduce isolation.
2) Rainbow Sisters empower asylum-seeking lesbian women to speak out, become leaders, and advocate for change. They help women seeking asylum through English lessons, drama, and other activities that can support women fleeing persecution to regain their confidence.
3) Pride Without Boarders works alongside the City of Sanctuary to provide support and advice to LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. They also strive to reduce isolation for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and help them build their confidence.
4) African Rainbow Family is a UK registered organisation that supports LGBTQ+ people of African heritage and the wider Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic groups.
5) Say It Loud Club works with LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees to help them successfully gain the right to live freely in the UK. Their mission is to provide social, emotional, educational, and advocacy support to LGBT+ refugees and asylum seekers.