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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, amounting to thousands across Europe each year. These asylum claims are often treated in a particularly insensitive way, i.e. based on inappropriate legal, cultural and social notions.

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.

Life Stories

Aderonke Apata wins asylum bid to stay in the UK

Attitude 12/08/2017

Aderonke Apata was accused of lying about her sexuality by a High Court judge after being forced to flee her native Nigeria.

Gay asylum seekers beaten close to death in Germany

Gay asylum seekers beaten close to death in Germany

Gay Star News 17/07/2017

After they recover from their injuries, they are likely to be ...

“I will kill myself”: A gay Syrian refugee couple in UK

“I will kill myself”: A gay Syrian refugee couple in UK

Newstatesman 21/07/2017

We haven't any hope this war in Syria will finish. So now we a...

Gloria: Granted support on her third application

Gloria: Granted support on her third application

Refugee Action Report 14/07/2017

This is the story of Gloria, who is a lesbian mother, and her ...

No Place for Me: the Struggles of Sexual and Gender Minority...

No Place for Me: the Struggles of Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees

Oram International 05/07/2017

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) urban...

Yasmin, Ali and Rima - 'It Was a Nightmare': Life for LGBTQ ...

Yasmin, Ali and Rima - 'It Was a Nightmare': Life for LGBTQ Refugees in Greece Can Be a Living Hell

Broadly - Laila Tyack 16/06/2017

Yasmin's, Ali's and Rima's stories and their experiences in Gr...

Life Story

Chechnyas first transgender woman opens up about herescape...

Chechnya’s ‘first transgender woman’ opens up about her escape

Pink News 22/05/2017

The story of Leila, Chechnya's first transgender person, fleei...

A Zimbabwean woman's 15 years of life in limbo in Britain

A Zimbabwean woman's 15 years of life in limbo in Britain

The Guardian 03/05/2017

The Home Office rejected Paradzai Nkomos sexuality claim, sayi...

Raped and abused, this 23-year-old gay refugee from Banglade...

Raped and abused, this 23-year-old gay refugee from Bangladesh on the run in Nepal shares his story

Gay Star News 25/04/2017

Disowned by his family and driven from his country by extremis...

A Gay asylum seeker faced deportation to Malawi because he c...

A Gay asylum seeker faced deportation to Malawi because he ‘can’t prove’ his sexuality

Pink News 01/08/2016

In January 2016, a gay asylum seeker in the UK said he was fac...