Training Resources for Psychologists Working with LGBT Migrants and Victims of Torture
Highlighted opportunities for training, practice and research.
With LGBT people facing forced migration and torture around the world, psychologists are getting involved with assisting in the humanitarian response. Psychology graduate students, forensic psychologists and other scientists, and clinicians, on working with displaced, escaping or physically and psychologically victimized LGBT people.
The various organizations highlighted here provide clinical psychologists with opportunities to offer pro-bono assessment and counseling services. This is also a topic area with great potential for researchers to make significant contributions.
University of Maryland
Graduate certificate program in working with survivors of violence, torture and trauma: Theoretical Foundations and Mental Health
Forensic Psychological Evaluations
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
PHR's Asylum Network is a community of hundreds of health professionals who offer pro bono forensic psychological and physical evaluations to document evidence of torture and persecution for men, women and children fleeing danger in their home countries. PHR offers forensic science training, and training to medical professionals who wish to learn how to do evaluations of physical and psychological claims of asylum seekers.
Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights is a medical student-run human rights clinic dedicated to providing forensic medical evaluations to survivors of persecution seeking asylum in the United States.
- Human Rights First
Human Rights First was founded in 1978 as the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights to promote laws and policies that advance universal rights and freedoms and exists to protect and defend the dignity of each individual through respect for human rights and the rule of law.
- The Road to Safety: Strengthening Protection of LGBTI Refugees in Uganda and Kenya
Human Rights First has identified a number of key steps to be taken to improve the situation of LGBTI refugees.
- Organization for Refuge Asylum & Migration (ORAM)
ORAM is the only international organization devoted solely to advocating on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) refugees fleeing persecution due to sexual orientation or gender identity.
- People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty
PASSOP is a community-based nonprofit organization and grassroots movement that works to protect and promote the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa. Read about its LGBTI Refugee Support and Advocacy Project. (PDF, 1.26MB)
Refugee Law Project (RLP)
The RLP was established in 1999 to provide legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees in Uganda.
National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)
Heartland Alliance's NIJC is dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. NIJC provides direct legal services to and advocates for these populations through policy reform, impact litigation and public education. Since its founding three decades ago, NIJC has been unique in blending individual client advocacy with broad-based systemic change. Read about their LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative.
Heartland Alliance International's Rainbow Welcome Initiative is the nation's first technical assistance project dedicated to building refugee resettlement agencies' capacity to respond to the specific needs and vulnerabilities of LGBT refugees. The Rainbow Welcome Initiative develops and disseminates original resources to agencies, refugees and asylees, conducts state-wide and regional training workshops, and provides in-person and remote consultation to practitioners working with LGBT refugees and asylees.
Rescue and Assistance
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
HIAS is the international migration agency of the American Jewish community. It provides rescue and refuge for persecuted and oppressed Jews around the world, and assists refugees and immigrants of all backgrounds.
- Protection in the city: some good practice in Nairobi (PDF,346KB)
Despite a challenging protection environment, an assistance program for LGBTI refugees in Nairobi offers examples of good practice that could be replicated in other urban settings.
- HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of the World-USA)
Founded in 1993, HealthRight International's Human Rights Clinic mobilizes the health sector to assist survivors of torture and abuse seeking asylum and other forms of immigration relief in the U.S.
Research Institute Without Walls (RIWW)
RIWW is the only NGO in the world whose focus is training and research on the mental health needs of persons who face persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity. RIWW Provides training and research in the area of LGBTI asylum and offers free training and mentoring to psychologists who want to learn how to do psychological evaluations for asylum seekers, including web-based training tools.
Non-clinicians' judgments about asylum seekers' mental health: how do legal representatives of asylum seekers decide when to request medico-legal reports?
Lucy Wilson-Shaw, Nancy Pistrang, Jane Herlihy, European Journal of Psycho-Traumatology
Psychological Assessment of Torture Survivors: Essential Steps, Avoidable Errors, and Helpful Resource
Kenneth S. Pope, International Journal of Law & Psychiatry
Responding to Victims of Torture: Clinical Issues, Professional Responsibilities and Useful Resources
Kenneth S. Pope, Rosa E. Garcia-Peltoniemi
This article presents clinical and related approaches to the treatment of torture victims, examines common reactions of clinicians working in this area, identifies useful resources and emphasizes the need for clinical interventions to be supplemented by research, practice and education in order to respond adequately to the prevalence of torture and the plight of its victims.
Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex Persons in Forced Displacement: Need to Know Guidance
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Raises awareness of the common protection challenges that LGBTI individuals face, and the distinct risks of each group in countries of origin, in transit and in host countries.