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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

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 Yorker about his Egyptian friend, Manu. Click on the link to read the full story.

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

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As an LGBT refugee, Europes deal with Libya has left me fear...

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NewStatesman 04/01/2019

The story appeared in an article written by Ali Ibrahim in par...

Nahass Fight for LGBT Refugees: Making History at the UN and...

Nahas’s Fight for LGBT Refugees: Making History at the UN and at the NYC Pride

The Daily Beast 30/11/2018

After fleeing Syria, Nahas made history by becoming the first ...

2018 Transgender Day of Remembrance: Sasha's story

2018 Transgender Day of Remembrance: Sasha's story

20/11/2018

For the 2018 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), SOGICA is ...

Being gay in Pakistan: A story from Lahore

Being gay in Pakistan: A story from Lahore

Il Grande Colibri 26/10/2018

The story of a young gay man from Lahore, Pakistan, collected ...

"I’m in a bad dream”: A story from Ireland

"I’m in a bad dream”: A story from Ireland

GNC - October 2018 19/10/2018

Aoife Moriarty for the Magazine GNC (October 2018, Issue 346) ...