Spain's first publicly funded LGBTI asylum center

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 15, 2020 - Duration: 01:56s

Spain's first publicly funded LGBTI asylum center

A trans woman seeking asylum in Spain is welcoming the country's first publicly funded LGBTI reception center.

Emily Wither reports.


Spain's first publicly funded LGBTI asylum center

PLEASE NOTE: THIS VIDEO HAS BEEN AMENDED TO CLARIFY THAT JEISY CAROLINA ESCORCIA IS NOT CURRENTLY RESIDING AT THE LGBTI RECEPTION CENTER.

Jeisy Carolina Escorcia is a trans woman from Colombia.

She's applying for international protection in Spain, which has recently opened its first publicly funded reception center for LGBTI asylum seekers.

She doesn’t use the center itself.

It opened after she first arrived in Spain, but she’s grateful that it will be an asset to others like her who follow.

"More than 70 countries still prosecute LGBT people over their sexual orientation and gender identity, and finding a place that welcomes you, with people who also experience a different gender diversity, a different sexual orientation, allows you to integrate into the country more easily." Jeisy fled from Colombia where she suffered gender violence, says she was mistreated by her employer and had no support from her family.

This center near the capital can house up to 20 international protection applicants.

Its advocates hope it will help guarantee human rights for LGBTI applicants and facilitate their integration and inclusion in society.

Jeisy says it's been hard to find professionals that really understand her.

Melisa de la Torre, the center's coordinator lives at the facility, and interacts with the residents daily.

"At first, when they arrive they are a little fearful in this different space.

They are friends among each other, they are finding a nucleus and a social network they can rely on, people who are going through the same moment as they are.

Suddenly it's like the feeling of being at home, of being in a safe place, which is what we want to convey at all times." For Jeisy the new center gives others an opportunity to integrate without suffering what she had to go through.

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