Moving on programme

Many LGBTI people flee their country because of the persecution they face due to their sexuality, gender identity or intersex status. Those who find safety in the UK and become refugees have to build a whole new life. Micro Rainbow can help you in this process with employability and moving on support.

About our moving on programme

Homosexuality is criminalised in more than 70 countries in the world and society persecutes and discriminates against LGBTI people in even more countries. Those LGBTI people who fear for their lives are sometimes able to reach the UK and claim asylum on the basis of their sexual orientation, and/or their gender identity, and/or the way their bodies looks. After going through the asylum determination process, successful LGBTI claimants are subject to a number of further issues, including poverty, that extend their experience of marginalisation and exclusion in their new country.

Micro Rainbow’s work and consultations with LGBTI refugees show that:

  • they often live in poverty
  • the major obstacles to finding employment are:
    • the lack of UK-based work experience as well as their refugee status, race, sexuality and gender which are intersecting issues that put them at the fringes of the job market
    • the qualifications that they have gained in their countries of origin are often not valid in the UK
    • low confidence and self-esteem
  • the material hardships of their everyday lives emerging from the simple fact of being an LGBTI refugee include:
    • opening a bank account when presenting their refugee documents;
    • the sudden suspicion of potential employers as soon as they became aware that they are refugees; and
    • the rejection of their family members, co-nationals and places of faith in the UK.

 After piloting and testing activities for over ten years, we have shaped an LGBTI-refugee centred moving on programme which is already showing three interesting results:

  • It creates new, practical and life-changing opportunities for LGBTI refugees
  • It changes social attitudes and the negative stereotypes that society often associates with LGBTI refugees

It provides new data and life stories that are powerful tools for advocacy.

Getting started

This consists of one-to-one support to those who have recently become refugees in order to:

  • obtain National Insurance numbers
  • register with Universal Credit
  • open bank accounts


Micro Rainbow works with various partners, including the third and private sector, to:

  • provide one to one support over a period of six to twelve months to prepare and review a moving on plan (e.g. to find employment)
  • organise workshops around CV writing and interview skills
  • facilitate job opportunities

Success stories

Case study

Lesbian refugee from Nigeria

“It is hard to survive in the UK when you don’t have a job, you don’t have friends with jobs, and your family members hate you because you are lesbian.”

Latest updates

Sanctuary at The Walthamstow Wetlands

Sanctuary at The Walthamstow Wetlands

This activity, dancing at the Wetlands, allows LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees to use their bodies to express themselves and to heal past trauma. Micro Rainbow’s social inclusion programme is a key element of our holistic approach to integration.

MRI Logo with strap line

Why asylum seekers should be granted permission to work

Jill Power, describes Micro Rainbow’s view on a controversial issue that affects the lives of thousands of people seeking refuge every year: granting asylum seekers the right to work while their asylum case is determined.

Case study

Lesbian refugee from Nigeria

“It is hard to survive in the UK when you don’t have a job, you don’t have friends with jobs, and your family members hate you because you are lesbian.”