Posted on 14 October 2014
[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.
Background information: Gender based violence and persecution is a global problem of pandemic proportions:
Posted on 11 June 2010
The human rights of the EU’s migrants and asylum seekers, an increasing proportion of whom are women, have been a case of particular concern for the EWL.
Asylum has been a key area of EWL work since 2001 as women’s experience of political activities and persecution may differ from those of men. The concept of both politics and persecution have historically been interpreted by States through a framework of male experience, thus often excluding women’s political opinions on gender roles as well as acts of gender-based violence and/or discrimination by either State or non-State actors. Without integrating a gender perspective throughout the asylum process, the adherence to a male heterosexual norm risks resulting in many women and girls, including lesbian and bisexual women and girls, being wrongfully denied refugee status and protection under international human rights and refugee law.
The EWL promotes in general a gender aware approach to immigration policies that would introduce a shift from the predominant view of female immigrants as simply the wives and children of male immigrants to incorporating an understanding of women’s human rights and of the unique experiences of women. At the same time, the EWL has been running a project since 2006 for and with migrant women’s organisations across Europe that aims to actively involve migrant women in the development, monitoring and implementation of policies at the European level: ’Equal Rights. Equal Voices. Migrant Women in the European Union’. One of the main achievements of this project has been the launch on 18 June 2010 of the European Network of Migrant Women, an independent network that is since 2009 an EWL Associate Member. The project has been supported by the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) of the Network of European Foundations, as well as the Sigrid Rausing Trust and Barrow Cadbury Trust.
For a comprehensive overview of the current situation in terms of women and Immigration, Integration and Asylum in the EU, and the most recent European policies in this area, see the chapter in the EWL’s Beijing+15 Report on the Human Rights of Women.