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To Stay or to Go? Decision-Making of LGBTQI Syrians in Mixed Migration Flows

  • Alex Odlum
Chapter

Abstract

Factors that cause Syrians who may define their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI) as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex or otherwise (LGBTQI) to flee their homes and move onwards from situations of displacement are complex. So strong is the social stigma against LGBTQI persons in Syria, and much of its neighbouring region, that many Syrians who fear persecution based on their SOGI may nonetheless cite other reasons for moving more broadly related to their experience of conflict, discrimination, socio-economic situation or asylum. Recognising that multiple factors impacting displacement and migration decisions can interact at the same time, evolve over time, be different between groups moving in the same flows, or be perceived differently by the communities through which people move, is characteristic of a mixed migration approach to analysing the movement of different individuals and groups along similar routes. In contrast to prevailing binary analyses of migration as either forced or voluntary, this chapter applies a mixed migration lens to examine the complexity of the decisions made by LGBTQI Syrians to leave their country, move onwards towards Europe, or remain displaced in a neighbouring country. In doing so, it argues that policies recognising the complexity of decisions made by Syrian LGBTQI people on the move may better serve their protection needs than policies based on the assumption that their movement is either forced or voluntary.

Keywords

LGBTQI Mixed migration Displacement Syrian refugee crisis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Odlum
    • 1
  1. 1.Mixed Migration PlatformGenevaSwitzerland

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