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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

Life Story

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 16/10/2020

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...

#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...