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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum

A European Human Rights Challenge

About the SOGICA Project

SOGICA is a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) that explores the social and legal experiences of asylum seekers across Europe claiming international protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). SOGI-related human rights violations are the basis of an apparently increasing number of asylum claims in Europe. Previous research and empirical evidence, while not comprehensive, suggests that these claims are often treated in an insensitive, inappropriate or inconsistent manner across Europe and also within individual states. These claims are also of a striking complexity, and have significance for the purposes of assessing the efficiency and fairness of asylum adjudication systems in general. Focusing on Germany, Italy and the UK as case studies, and analysing how SOGI related claims are addressed at European level – covering the European Union (EU) and Council of Europe (CoE) – the project seeks to determine how European asylum systems can treat asylum claims based on the claimant’s SOGI more fairly.    

A message about the SOGICA surveys

The two online SOGICA surveys – one for LGBTQI+ people claiming asylum and one for people working with them – have now closed. We had a big response and are now analysing all the answers we received alongside our other fieldwork data. We will also be notifying the four winners in the survey prize draw by email in April.

We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who made time to contribute to the surveys: you have given a significant boost to SOGICA’s evidence base and helped us enormously in our task of identifying critical areas for improvement in SOGI asylum in Europe.

Thank you to all our friends and supporters!

Life Stories

Zuheir's story: 'I had to leave Lebanon after I came out as gay and HIV positive on TV'

Gay Star News 07/06/2019

The project Stonewall 50 Voices series, which celebrates the diversity of our global LGBTI community, has hosted the story of a 29-year-old filmmaker and Lebanese refugee living in the UK.

Mohammed's story: death threats, an unwanted marriage, homel...

Mohammed's story: death threats, an unwanted marriage, homelessness and depression but now free

Peter Tatchell Foundation 24/05/2019

Mohammed was studying in the UK when was pressured into a hete...

'Looking over each others shoulders': The story of a gay man...

'Looking over each other’s shoulders': The story of a gay man in Brunei

Gay Star News 10/05/2019

A man reflects on his experiences as a gay man in Brunei befor...

Fear and hope: A gay asylum seeker from Saudi Arabia

Fear and hope: A gay asylum seeker from Saudi Arabia

Montreal Gazette 26/04/2019

Abdullah went from having everything paid for by his family to...

Gay refugee fears for his life when hes deported: nine years...

Gay refugee fears for his life when he’s deported: nine years in UK do not matter at all

Worcester News 12/04/2019

The story of a man, who fears for his future due to potential ...

A gay Egyptian leaves his homeland: Manu's story

A gay Egyptian leaves his homeland: Manu's story

The New Yorker 29/03/2019

Some bits of the story written by Peter Hessler for The New Yo...

Sam's story from UK: when discrimination on multiple grounds...

Sam's story from UK: when discrimination on multiple grounds intersects credibility assessment?

The Guardian 08/03/2019

Home Office cites 67-year-olds lack of a boyfriend as a reason...

'Not gay enough': Stories from the Netherlands

'Not gay enough': Stories from the Netherlands

PRI 22/02/2019

Stories collected by Venetia Rainey for PRI in 2017. Despite t...

A community fights for asylum justice: Ken's story

A community fights for asylum justice: Ken's story

The Bristol Cable 08/02/2019

Bristol Bison rugby player Ken Macharia speaks about his exper...

Gay man who fled Iraq reveals all: Being LGBTI is a 'death s...

Gay man who fled Iraq reveals all: Being LGBTI is a 'death sentence'

Gay Star News 25/01/2019

The project Stonewall 50 Voices series, which celebrates the d...