IOM LAUNCHES INFORMATION CAMPAIGN FOR HOMOSEXUAL HOLOCAUST VICTIMS

Claims for compensation must be filed by the end of the year

BERLIN/GENEVA, 18 September 2001 – Homosexual persons who performed slave labour for German companies, or who were denied entry into Switzerland or were mistreated there as refugees are now urged to file a claim for compensation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Homosexual victims who performed slave labour for certain Swiss companies are also entitled to claim. IOM will allocate compensation payments within the framework of the so-called Swiss Banks Settlement and the German Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future“. Claims must be filed until December 31, 2001. Heirs are only entitled to claim compensation if the victim died on February 16, 1999 or later. If a victim who filed a claim dies, the heirs must assert their rights with IOM within six months after the date of death.

In order to broadly reach out to homosexual victims of the Nazi regime, IOM has launched a special information campaign. Dirk de Winter, Director of IOM’s Compensation Programmes, points out that due to their often-difficult living conditions homosexual victims are hard to locate but, “Through our information campaign we want to reach these individuals in a targeted way.” The aim of IOM’s campaign is to solicit the support of German and international gay and lesbian organizations in disseminating information about the compensation programmes through their networks. By promoting networking and targeted media initiatives the campaign is expected to result in a snowball effect and spread to other countries, such as the USA, Canada and Australia where homosexuals sought shelter from Nazi persecution.

Homosexual victims of the Nazi regime are requested to contact IOM immediately: Hotline +41-22-7179204, IOM/HVAP, 17 route des Morillons, P.O. Box 71, 1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland.

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For further information please contact:

Marie-Agnes Heine, Public Information Officer, IOM,

Holocaust Victim Assets Programme (Swiss Banks)

17, route des Morillons - P.O. Box 71, Tel: +41-22-7179220, Fax: +41-22-7986150 ,

E-mail: mheine@iom.int, Internet: www.swissbankclaims.iom.int

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