All Articles: Sexuality

Gay hairdressers can safely relocate in Algeria, Court of Appeal holds

On 14 December 2020, the Court of Appeal in YD (Algeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1683 dismissed the asylum and human rights appeal of a young gay man from Algeria. Facts of the case YD had arrived in the UK aged 15 ...

17th December 2020 By

Want to fix the “broken” asylum system? Start with country of origin info, inspector tells Patel

The UK’s official guidance on the human rights situation in countries producing asylum seekers is too often out of date and should be better resourced, the immigration inspector has found. David Bolt suggests that if the Home Secretary is seriou ...

8th December 2020 By

Non-binary identity can form basis of asylum claim, Upper Tribunal finds

A non-binary gender identity can form the basis of an asylum claim, the Upper Tribunal has expressly confirmed for the first time. The case is Mx M (gender identity – HJ (Iran) – terminology) El Salvador [2020] UKUT 313 (IAC). Background t ...

24th November 2020 By

Deporting gay asylum seeker a violation of Article 3, human rights court finds

In B & C v Switzerland (application no. 43987/16 and 889/19) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously held that the deportation of asylum seekers to countries where they risk persecution for their sexual orientation would violate the Art ...

19th November 2020 By

Asylum, sexuality and concealment: where are we a decade on from HJ (Iran)?

On 7 July 2010, the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in HJ (Iran) [2010] UKSC 31, in which it established how asylum applications are to be decided when applicants flee persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation. The ruling e ...

7th July 2020 By

Avoiding the naughty step in Cart judicial review cases

On a warm summer’s day in late July, five sets of appellant lawyers found themselves in Court 4 of the Upper Tribunal in Field House, huddled together on what could only be characterised as “the naughty step”.  Unaware at the start of t ...

9th December 2019 By

Still Falling Short: recent study highlights special features of LGBTQI+ asylum claims

The recently published UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group report Still Falling Short examines the Home Office’s decision-making in  asylum applications from LGBTQI+ people. The report is a qualitative study of mainly lesbian, gay and bisexual c ...

22nd August 2018 By

How to prepare asylum claims based on sexual identity

Safira,* who identifies as a lesbian woman, grew up in Nigeria. Because of her sexual identity, Safira’s family members abused her, physically and psychologically, in an attempt to “cure” her of what they considered “demonic tendencies”. Her ...

4th May 2018 By

No psychological tests on gay asylum seekers, Court of Justice rules

In today’s case of C‑473/16 F v Bevándorlási és Állampolgársági Hivatal, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that national authorities may not prepare and use psychologists’ expert reports to assess the sexual identi ...

25th January 2018 By

Sexual orientation asylum statistics are good news

Recent statistics on asylum grants to gay people represent a breakthrough rather than a breakdown in the system – acting as a sword, rather than shield, in advancing protection of queer refugees, argues S Chelvan of No5 Barristers Chambers. Long ...

4th January 2018 By

New Home Office API on gay asylum claims: not fit for purpose

The new Asylum Policy Instruction on Sexual Orientation Issues in the Asylum Claim, published last Wednesday, marks an unwelcome retrograde step for the Home Office, which still continues to apply the ‘voluntary discretion test’ to gay asylum clai ...

8th August 2016 By

Upper Tribunal finds Somali journalist cannot be expected to change profession to avoid persecution

The Upper Tribunal has found in the case of MSM (journalists; political opinion; risk) Somalia [2015] UKUT 00413 (IAC) [BAILII](with UNHCR intervening) that a Somali journalist would be at risk of persecution if returned to Somalia and that, cruciall ...

30th July 2015 By

LGBT asylum seekers: a toxic mix of homophobia, misogyny and ignorance corrupts the asylum system

The treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans asylum seekers has been notoriously poor for many years. In 2010, my organisation, the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, exposed that 98-99% of gay and lesbian asylum seekers had been refused asylu ...

27th April 2015 By

EU court bans credibility ‘tests’ for gay refugees

In welcome news for LGBT asylum claimants, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled this week that ‘tests’ to prove a claimant’s sexual orientation, or intimate questioning about sexual behaviour, may breach the rights to human dignity ...

4th December 2014 By

Report finds stereotyping and intrusive questions of gay asylum seekers

Today the Home Office has belatedly allowed publication of an investigation by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, into the assessment of asylum claims based on sexual identity. The report was handed to Theresa May on 31 July 20 ...

23rd October 2014 By

From ABC to DSSH: How to prove that you are a gay refugee?

In an e-mail posting on a practitioners’ discussion group last week, a representative asked the group for details of a psychiatrist in order to prove that the detained client is gay. In follow-up e-mails, it was revealed that the enquiry was prompte ...

23rd July 2014 By

‘Proving’ sexual orientation in asylum claims

According to the recent Missing the Mark report by the excellent UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, a worryingly high proportion of LGBTI asylum claims are refused because the Home Office does not believe that the claimant has ‘proved’ his or ...

30th October 2013 By