Asylum Charity Reveal 99% Home Office Rejection Rates for Gays and Lesbians
A leading UK charity for lesbian and gay asylum seekers published a study this week which highlights disproportionate levels of rejection for homosexual applicants.
The UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group – a charity promoting equality and dignity through supporting lesbian and gay people who are seeking asylum in the UK – conducted a study of 50 Home Office Reason for Refusal letters issued from 2005 to 2009 to claimants from 19 different countries who claimed asylum on the basis of their sexual identity.
Entitled Failing The Grade, the report looks at the decisions of UK Border Agency at interview stage. They found that although refusal at this stage is high for all asylum applicants – 73% in 2009 – refusal of lesbian and gay applicants between 2004 and 2009 was 98-99%.
UKLGIG patron Angela Mason, CBE, – who was joined by barrister S. Chelvan and author of the report, Laura Milliken Gray, at its launch at London’s Mitre House Chambers – told DIVA that the issue was a live one.
“It seems clear that case owners making decisions about lesbian and gay asylum claims do not have training on the particular issues arising from persecution based on sexual orientation or identity.
They are also relying on out of date information on countries of origin and too often ignoring the UNHCR Guidance Note on Refugee Claims Relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The result is that lesbian and gay asylum seekers who are already experiencing persecution may also face discrimination in our own country.”