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Women accounted for 52.4% of the migrant population in Europe in 2000 and about 30% of asylum-seekers in 2009. Considerable progress has been made towards the recognition of the need to take into account gender in immigration, integration and asylum policies and legislation. However, the challenge remains to see these commitments being implemented in practice by the adoption of concrete and strong measures such as gender-based guidelines in asylum.

 

Protecting the rights of LGBTI asylum seekers: new guidelines published by ILGA-Europe

Posted on 14 October 2014

Protecting the rights of LGBTI asylum seekers: new guidelines published by ILGA-Europe

[Brussels, 10 October 2014] ILGA-Europe, the European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, launched a new publication package on the protection of the rights of LGBTI asylum seekers in the EU.

The first publication "Laying the ground for LGBTI sensitive asylum decision-making in Europe: transposition of the recast asylum procedures Directive and of the recast reception Directive" provides guidelines to decision makers for the general interpretation and implementation of the so-called Recast Procedures and Reception Conditions EU Directives, which were adopted on 26 June 2013. It complements the 2012 Guidelines on the transposition of the Asylum Qualification Directive. The second publication compiles Good Practices related to LGBTI asylum applicants in Europe related to national policies, legal interpretation and access to information of LGBTI asylum seekers.

The 2011 study "Fleeing Homophobia" shows huge differences in the way EU Member States deal with LGBTI asylum applications. A similar conclusion has been made by the study "Gender-related asylum claims in Europe", which compares the way gender is considered in 9 EU Member States. Both studies show a clear need for the development of clear guidelines to help Member States to take properly into account the needs of women and LGBTI asylum seekers.

Since 2011, as per the Recast Asylum Qualification Directive, EU Member States have an obligation to consider gender-related aspects, including gender identity, and sexual orientation when assessing the reasons for persecution. However, those minimum standards leave an important room for subjective interpretation and the use of credibility as an argument to reject the asylum requests. It is essential to ensure that the whole asylum process, from the qualification to the reception and procedure, are gender-sensitive and recognise the specific persecutions faced by women and LGBTI asylum seekers.

More information about the work of the European Women’s Lobby on asylum and immigration can be found here. Resources on LGBTI asylum seekers are also available on ILGA-Europe website.

Background information: Gender based violence and persecution is a global problem of pandemic proportions:

  • More death and disability among women aged 15–44 are caused by acts of violence than by cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined (UN)
  • 3 million girls worldwide are subjected to genital mutilation each year (WHO)
  • 76 countries still criminalise same-sex sexual activities between consenting adults
  • 539 trans people were murdered worldwide from January 2008 to the end of 2010 (Transgender Europe)

Source: "World Refugee Day: NGO coalition calls for new EU asylum agency to end discrimination"

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