Keep the Migration Agency’s LGBTQ Experts


In a report from the Migration Agency's internal auditors it is suggested that the Agency's LGBTQ experts should be abolished. According to the auditors the work with the LGBTQ experts is time consuming and leads to a lack of efficiency. RFSL now demands that the experts should stay and that all staff at the Migration Agency should be given basic LGBTQ competency.

– All employees at the Migration Agency should be given a basic LGBTQ competency. The special LGBTQ experts’ knowledge must be deepened and their role must be developed, not phased out, says RFSL’s vice president Magnus Kolsjö.

– The Migration Agency’s internal auditors revisorer show a frightening lack of knowledge in the special difficulties in handling and making decisions in LGBTQ cases. LGBTQ experts contribute with specialist competency that contributes to increasing the quality in many decisions that affect LGBTQ refugees.

The internal audit is, in it’s report, skeptical about the efforts that have been made regarding legal certainty, service and reception. They mean that the efforts have gone too far and at the expense of efficiency. In a mocking way a “café latte” culture is described, where the case workers are nice to the asylum seekers and where time is spent on creating a confidence inspiring environment.

– It is absolutely necessary that the asylum seeker has confidence in the case worker and the Migration Agency in order for them to have the courage to disclose that they’re seeking asylum as an LGBTQ individual. The distrust in authorities is one of the reasons that LGBTQ individuals don’t disclose their reasons for asylum until late in the process, as many have the experience of meeting authoritative figures in their country of origin that persecute, harass and threaten LGBTQ individuals. This distrust in authorities also make the cases harder to process, says RFSL’s president Frida Sandegård.

The Migration Agency’s internal auditors have, in the work with the report, visited Finland and points out the Finnish Migration Agency’s work as a good example. In Finland a quick handling and short decisions are prioritized, according to the auditors. The number of decisions that a case worker makes is put before service and accessibility. Moreover, the asylum seeker doesn’t have the right to get help from a legal counsel while their case is being handled by the Migration Agency.

– It’s incomprehensible that the Migration Agency’s internal auditors have chosen Finland as a good example to be inspired by. Finland has repeatedly been criticized by the UN’s Refugee Agency UNHCR because they prioritize effectivity too much and that this is done at the expense of legal certainty. The Finnish example is not something to take after, concludes Magnus Kolsjö.