Press Statement from ORAM
The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a landmark decision on assessing the credibility of sexual minority asylum seekers. In A, B and C vs. Staatssecretaris van Veiligheiden Justitie, the Court disallowed inappropriate practices in evaluating the claims of asylum applicants claiming persecution based on their sexual orientation. ORAM hopes the Court’s ruling will bring about more consistent and humane treatment of these asylum seekers.
The Court ruled that EU states credibility assessment methods must comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights — particularly the rights to human dignity and to private and family life.
The Court rejected several practices found in these cases: Intrusive questioning about an applicant’s sexual acts, use of explicit evidence like films documenting applicants’ intimate sexual conduct, and physical or medical tests purportedly revealing one’s sexual orientation.
Finally, the court held that a delay in asserting one’s LGBTI status does not necessarily indicate fraud, as allowances must be given to LGBTI applicants for the special kinds of difficulties they face.
ORAM will soon publish the first volume of its legal guidance series on refugee and asylum claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This meticulously researched and clearly written comparative work provides unparalleled guidance for adjudicators on credibility indicators used by major asylum countries in claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The volume draws on ORAM’s extraordinary expertise and field leadership in refugee protection training, as well as its research in international law, psychology and sociology. Together with ORAM’s other publications and materials, this work will be a significant contribution to the growing library of tools for LGBTI refugee adjudication and protection available to refugee professionals worldwide.
EU Court: verification sexual orientation asylum seeker must not infringe fundamental rights (Intergroup on LGBT Rights)