More homosexuals asking for asylum

Friday's editions of the dailies 'De Standaard' and 'Het Nieuwsblad' report that the number of people asking for asylum in Belgium due to their sexual orientation has increased threefold over the past four years. According to Dirk Van den Bulck of the General Commission for Refugees and the Stateless, around one in five asylum requests on the grounds of sexual orientation are granted.

In 2013 there were around one thousand cases of people claiming asylum on the grounds of their sexual orientation. This is well up on the 376 cases in 2010.

According to Mr Van den Bulck there are several reasons for the increase in LGBT asylum-seekers. "In some countries the situation for homosexuals has worsened. Just look at Russia and a few African countries."

"There is also a growing awareness of sexual orientation worldwide. People say straight out that they're gay and this causes problems for them. They also see and hear that they can get asylum in another country on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

Dirk Van den Bulck adds that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of those abusing the system. "People traffickers are telling their victims that they can get asylum here on the grounds of sexual orientation.