With support from The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, ORAM (Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration) has examined hundreds of NGO’s working with refugees, resulting in the 2012 report "Opening doors: a global survey of attitudes towards LGBTI refugees & asylum seekers". Their findings reveal both extraordinary commitment to, and in some respects considerable room for improvement in LGBTI refugee protection by NGOs.
Of particular concern is the invisibility and silence that surrounds the realities of sexual orientation and gender identities. Because LGBTI refugees often hide their identity for fear of mistreatment, NGOs must affirmatively create an atmosphere of safety, understanding and support. The report shows that many NGOs are unaware of the LGBTI refugees in their midst and many others are unaware of the need for targeted policies to help these vulnerable individuals. Few have the tools to inquire about LGBTI individuals identities and circumstances, and a significant number wrongly believe that sexual orientation and gender identity are not germane to their clients’ protection. Some display deeply felt discomfort with this topic, in ways that limit their effectiveness.
Despite these challenges, many NGO’s have resolved to protect LGBTI refugees: just over 95 percent believe that individuals persecuted on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity deserve refugee protection.