A ‘culture of disbelief’ and an ‘impossible burden of proof’ mean that individuals seeking asylum in the UK and Europe on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity are routinely seeing their claims rejected.
According to researchers at the University of Sussex, one in three were refused as a result of simply not being believed by officials, while four in 10 said that they had been denied asylum because decision-makers did not consider they were persecuted, or at risk of persecution, in their home country.
Commenting, Moira Dustin, who led the UK part of the research project, said: “These are people who are fleeing their home country not out of choice, but out of necessity. If they could speak with one voice, I believe they would say ‘I am who I say I am.’ Not being believed is their top concern.”
She added that immigration officials “rarely started with an open mind. For many, it’s a question of ‘you must convince me’.”
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