UCL Department of Geography


Claire Fletcher

Research Title

What relationship, if any, do queer asylum seekers have with religion during their asylum-seeking journey to the UK?’ (working title)

More about Claire 

Before undertaking my doctoral studies I worked at the BBC within the factual and current affairs department and completed my MSc in Global Politics part-time at Birkbeck, University of London, where I graduated with a distinction in 2014.  In 2015 I was awarded an ESRC 1+3 studentship to study for an MSc in Global Migration at UCL followed by a PhD in the department of Geography. My MSc research focused on asylum seekers contact with faith-based organisations as part of their livelihood strategies and my current research engages with queer asylum seekers experiences with religious organisations in the UK.

Alongside my research, I have been volunteering and working with asylum seekers and refugees since 2014. I am currently working as an LGBTQI+ Asylum Support Worker at the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group and have previous roles at the British Red Cross’s Refugee Unit and at the Refugee Council. 

Research Interests

My research explores how queer asylum seekers experience religion whilst seeking asylum in the UK. As has been well documented, it is often assumed that LGBT asylum-seekers reject faith and religion, because of the assumption that religious belief and religious organizations undermine, rather than protect, the rights of people who do not conform to norms relating to gender and sexuality. This is in spite of the reality that many LGBT asylum-seekers continue to identify with and draw on religion in different ways.

At the same time, as the UK state has developed an increasingly hostile environment towards asylum-seekers, and have decreased the form of support available to them, support for asylum-seekers is increasingly being provided by religiously-inspired actors. It is against this backdrop that this project aims to explore the experiences of LGBT asylum seekers and their relationship to religion in the UK and how this may/or may not have changed during their asylum journeys to and in the UK

Research Funding