COLOGNE is the first German city to set up shelters specifically for its gay and lesbian refugees.
The city, which saw a number of migrant sex attacks during last year’s New Year celebrations, has implemented plans to provide accommodation for its homosexual and transgender migrants.
The lesbian and gay association of North Rhine-Westphalia drew attention to the fact some refugees were suffering from physical attacks, intimation and threats from other refugees because of their sexuality.
Frank Bauer, who sits on the board of the association, said: “Regular asylum accommodation is often not a safe place for these people – especially if they live openly or are outed.”
Mr Bauer also added precise figures on the number of assaults were hard to come by due most never being reported.
He also called for other Germany cities to follow Cologne’s example.
The city has set up five places for its gay, lesbian and transgender refugees in special accommodation which is looked after by a social services group of Catholic men.
The city hopes have two residential communities established in the near future, housing between three and six people.
In February Cologne will also open accommodation with will house 20 refugees which will allow them to live in small residential groups.
The city also provides online support for its gay and bisexual refugees with its Rainbow Refugees website which provides information on learning Germany, counselling, health care, violence and access to lawyers.
Many gay and lesbian refugees have claimed asylum as in many Islamic countries homosexuality is outlawed and even punishable with death in some.
The city hosts one of Europe’s biggest gay pride events in Europe with ColognePride.
This year’s event in July gave a prominent position to its gay refugees in the annual Christopher Street Day parade from the right bank of the Rhine to the city centre.
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