ADDED ON: 08/30/2018

EU Should Follow UN Guidelines on LGBT Asylum Seekers

08/30/2018 | Human Rights Watch

The process of seeking asylum is difficult for anyone, but sexual and gender minorities fleeing persecution in their home countries can be particularly vulnerable, as two recent decisions by Austrian asylum officers show. In August, Austrian authorities rejected the asylum application of a 27-year-old Iraqi on grounds that he was behaving “like a girl” and “faking” his homosexuality. One week earlier, an 18-year-old Afghan asylum seeker was denied refugee statusbecause, according to the adjudicating official: “Neither your walk nor behaviour nor clothing indicate in any way you might be homosexual.” (Austrian authorities subsequently distanced themselves from this decision and disciplined the official.) “Too gay” or “not gay enough” are subjective and absurd criteria, but individuals seeking asylum based on self-declared sexual orientation sometimes find themselves subject to intrusive and inappropriate investigations.

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