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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.

We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who made time to contribute to our Project: 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.

To know more, explore our website and consult, in particular:

Thank you to all our friends and supporters!

Life Stories

Born in France, raised in Belgium, facing removal to the DRC: David's story

The Guardian 21/08/2020

David grew up in Brussels and dreams of a career in fashion, but hardline laws make him an asylum seeker in his own country. His story was collected by Francesca Spinelli for The Guardian.

Dont come back, theyll kill you for being gay: Mohamed's sto...

‘Don’t come back, they’ll kill you for being gay’: Mohamed's story

BBC news 07/08/2020

For years Mohamed's family tried to make him more like other b...

#IamWhoIam: Welcome to Germany - Anbid's story

Sogica.org 20/06/2020

Anbid Zaman is a LGBTIQ+ activist. In 2016, when he was a student in Dhaka, he was forced to go into hiding. He was eventually granted international protection in Germany. Anbid shared his story in this new SOGICA video.

#IAmWhoISayIAm - Fight or Flight: Mazen's story

Il Grande Colibri 03/06/2020

Another video realised by SOGICA with the contribution of University of Sussex's team video, UNHCR and MIT (Italy). This is #IAmWhoISayIAm - Fight or Flight: Mazen's story.

TDoV 2020: Fostering visibility to T refugees living in refu...

TDoV 2020: Fostering visibility to T refugees living in refugee camps in Kenya

Pink News 31/03/2020

Let's break the silence around T refugees that are still force...

#IAmWhoISayIam: more stories coming soon...

#IAmWhoISayIam: more stories coming soon...

Sogica.org 06/03/2020

More hot videos coming your way soon. For now, check out our s...

#IAmWhoISayIAm - No Place Like Home: Angel's story

Sogica.org 28/02/2020

Angel was forced to flee into the night after she was discovered with her girlfriend by police during a house raid. Finally arriving in the UK, she applied for asylum: watch her story in this original SOGICA video!

'How do I convince the Home Office I'm a lesbian?': Angel's ...

'How do I convince the Home Office I'm a lesbian?': Angel's story

BBC News 26/02/2020

Kirstie Brewer collected the story of Angel, who fled Zimbabwe...

Claiming asylum in the UK: Nadim's story

Claiming asylum in the UK: Nadim's story


Nadim claimed asylum in the UK because his life was in danger ...

Two-year detention of a transgender asylum claimant: Barrera...

Two-year detention of a transgender asylum claimant: Barrera's story

The New Yorker 06/12/2019

Detention, asylum denials, lack of access to healthcare: a pow...