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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

Between detention and support in UK: The story of Muhammad

Micro Rainbow 18/10/2019

Micro Rainbow shared with us the inspiring story of Muhammad, one of the many claimants who, after being detained, found a support in their integration programmes.

'Transitioning' from asylum claimant to refugee status: Zaid...

'Transitioning' from asylum claimant to refugee status: Zaid's struggle for accommodation

Micro Rainbow International Foundation 11/10/2019

Zaid's story is the account of another refugees struggle to fi...

Two stories from Micro Rainbow: Rahim and Alana

Two stories from Micro Rainbow: Rahim and Alana

Micro Rainbow 04/10/2019

Micro Rainbow shared with us the stories of Rahim and Alana. C...

How a Malian gay refugee found a home: Louis' story

OUT 27/09/2019

T. Willis released a documentary 'When Refugee Camps Are Full, Take One Home' on the refugee crisis in France. He followed a gay couple, Cristophe and Armand, who decide to make an impact through hosting a gay refugee, Louis.

Unlawfully deported from UK was gang-raped and fearing for h...

Unlawfully deported from UK was ‘gang-raped and fearing for her life’ after removal to Uganda: The story of PN

The Independent 20/09/2019

Asylum seeker who is being returned to Britain after landmark ...

Three refugees in Berlin: The struggle continues in Europe

Three refugees in Berlin: The struggle continues in Europe

MELbeta 13/09/2019

The stories of Lina, Mahmoud and Miki collected by Jessica Bat...

LGBT asylum seekers claims are not being taken seriously: Ab...

LGBT asylum seekers’ claims are ‘not being taken seriously’: Abderrahim's asylum experience

Pink News 06/09/2019

A gay asylum seeker has accused the Home Office of not taking ...

Caught Between Borders: The Stories of Ismail, Faith and Jim...

Caught Between Borders: The Stories of Ismail, Faith and Jimmy, three African SOGI people in need of asylum

Longreads 30/08/2019

[An] investigation into the plight of African LGBTI asylum see...

Queer people in Azerbaijan: Destiny depends on the way of th...

Queer people in Azerbaijan: Destiny depends on the way of thinking

OC Media 23/08/2019

This is the story of a gay man born in Azerbaijan who, for yea...

Escaping Trans Discrimination: Stories of Trans Women Seeking Asylum in the US

VICE 16/08/2019

For many trans people facing discrimination in home countries, migration to the US represents a chance to redeem their identity. But upon arriving in the US, they often find a dangerous life and threat of detention (by VICE).