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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum

A European Human Rights Challenge

About the SOGICA Project

SOGICA was a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) exploring 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 has sought to determine how European asylum systems can treat asylum claims based on the claimant’s SOGI more fairly.

The project formally ended in October 2020. We are maintaining the SOGICA project website, including our database of resources. Please feel free to email us at info@sogica.org with any questions or suggestions about any aspect of the SOGICA project, or about any training or other initiatives you are planning and to which we might contribute.

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

‘I’m not dying without a fight’: the story of Victor

Metro 18/06/2021

This is the story of Victor, a Nigerian man who fled home because being gay is a crime and who wants his story to be one of hope [story collected by Elisa Menendez for Metro].

Lights Up: Adam's story

Lights Up: Adam's story

BBC iPlayer 07/05/2021

The true story of a trans man, Adam Kashmiry, and his remarkab...

North Korea’s ‘only openly gay defector’ finds love

North Korea’s ‘only openly gay defector’ finds love

BBC 26/03/2021

Jang Yeong-jin is the North Korea's only openly gay defector. ...

'In danger if sent home': Ugandan asylum seekers' story

'In danger if sent home': Ugandan asylum seekers' story

BBC 12/03/2021

Same-sex liaisons are illegal in Uganda. Some gay Ugandans man...

Love & fight: Christina's story

SOGICA Project 20/11/2020

On this TDoR, we are very happy to share the story of Christina, whose fight to get asylum continues. We wish her all the best in life and ask you to disseminate this SOGICA podcast to fight a cruel asylum system!

How he became an activist: Dennis' story

How he became an activist: Dennis' story

Alturi 06/11/2020

The director of IRCA Casabierta shares his story as an Hondura...

Stories from Costa Rica: the video of IRCA CASABIERTA

IRCA Casabierta 23/10/2020

IRCA Casabierta has filmed a video that addresses their work and the stories of the SOGI claimants who receive support in Costa Rica. We are happy to share the video as a way to thank them for their wonderful job. Enjoy!

From Sara to Sarah: in memory of Sarah Hegazi, activist in E...

From Sara to Sarah: in memory of Sarah Hegazi, activist in Egypt

SOGICA 09/10/2020

Sara Alsherif shared with SOGICA the work done to commemorate ...

Born in France, raised in Belgium, facing removal to the DRC...

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, b...

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...