Skip to main content

Discrimination and Migration

People leave their countries for various reasons: natural disasters, fleeing war zones or totalitarian regimes. Among these reasons is being an LGBTQIA+ person.

In many countries around the world it is dangerous to be an LGBTQIA+ person. In multiple countries it remains illegal and punished by law, either by a fine, a prison sentence, or even the death penalty.

Legality of homosexuality in the world in 2023‚Äč

Criminalisation of sexual acts between two consenting same-sex adults.

Map of the legality of homosexuality in the world in 2023

variable selon les régions
loi ambigu√ę
homosexualit√© masculine ill√©gale / f√©minine l√©gale ou ambigu√ę
illégale, peine de prison ou peine de mort
illégale, peine de mort
pas de données

We can remark that the laws target primarily masculine homosexuality. Although men who have relationships with men are the most frequently targeted by laws, this does not necessarily mean that women have it easier. LGBTQIA+ people are often united in the same acronym, but they face very diverse discriminations depending on the social and political perception of each group of individuals. The discrimination against trans people is very different from that against homosexual or bisexual people. Often, the laws are less clear, concerning their rights, but also the possibility of their conviction.

We can also note that a country can have legislation that recognizes the existence of one population, all while violating the fundamental rights of another. For example, in Iran, homosexual men and women can be sentenced to death, while transitioning is legal, and goes as far as gender affirming surgeries. Many homosexual people are encouraged to do so.

Despite the absence of laws targeting LGBTQIA+ people and the existence of laws protecting their rights, LGBTQIA+ people are sometimes still in danger in certain countries. They can be subject to discrimination from the local populations, which can be as extreme as murder.

Social Discrimination‚Äč

In the majority of countries, discrimination towards LGBTQIA+ people is committed by the local population and laws can legitimize these violences. However, in the absence of laws protecting LGBTQIA+ people, they are exposed to great risks.

The discrimination of LGBTQIA+ people can greatly impact their day-to-day life, even if it is illegal. They can be refused employment, housing or healthcare based on their sexuality, without being able to contest it legally. This treatment places people in precarious situations.

In addition, we can see that LGBTQIA+ people can be targets of attacks, which can even cause their deaths by the local population, and in some cases even by members of their own families, on ideological bases. This reality is what makes the right to asylum for LGBTQIA+ people a fundamental tool for their survival.

Legality of Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity‚Äč

Representation of the legal situation, not of its application

Map of the protection of homosexual people against discrimination around the world

illégale dans certains contextes
variable selon les régions
pas de protection
pas de données

The Challenges of Leaving and Arrival in France‚Äč

For many people who have faced persecution in their country, their departure is quick, and is not a choice, but a necessity to flee a situation that puts their life in danger. The travel to Europe represents a considerable mental charge and a large cost. Often, travel by plane, road or the ocean are possible, but all require significant financial resources to obtain documents such as visas or to pay people, for example to cross borders. To better understand the challenges of exile, it is important to understand that these people face exploitation or extortion from smugglers, and that the voyage can take several years, but especially that the migrants who arrive in Europe are those who have survived. According to the UN, in 2023 more than 2500 people died crossing the Mediterranean Sea, and that number grows every year.

Upon arrival in France, migrants must complete a process for their asylum application, which will be evaluated by the State in which they arrive. They must explain the violence that prevents them from returning to their country. For many, it's the first time they speak about these experiences - unfortunately psychological help is rare. It can be very difficult for them to navigate an administrative system, even with the help of social services.

It is very difficult for a migrant to find their place in France, because of the language barrier or cultural barriers. For some, they can also face discrimination such as racism or xenophobia, which can undermine their arrival.


  • migrant - a person who leaves their country, for a variety of reasons
  • asylum seeker - a person whose asylum request is being evaluated
  • refugee - a person who has received protection as defined in international treaties