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Council of Europe

The Council of Europe (CoE) was founded in 1949 to promote the rule of law and respect for human rights. It now includes 47 members, almost all countries located geographically in Europe. Through its organs, the CoE has the chance to deal with a broad range of cases relating to asylum. In particular, its European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) plays a key role in interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), a ‘living instrument’ that can be adapted to meet the human rights challenges relating to migration.

Considering that access to the ECtHR extends to ‘any person, non-governmental organisation or group of individuals’ claiming to be victim of a violation of the Convention’s rights by one or more States parties, the Court has been called to evaluate cases related to asylum claims based on SOGI. However, except for the decision in M.E. v. Sweden or in O.M. v. Hungary, no definitive interpretation of the ECHR in this area emerged. That is also why the SOGICA project explored implications for human rights protection under the Convention when SOGI asylum claimants and refugees are involved.

More on the CoE and the ECtHR? Please, consult the SOGICA Database. You can also read the table on the ECtHR SOGI asylum case law and a summary discussion of ‘Sexual minority asylum claimants in the jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court’.