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Systemic discrimination against gay asylum seekers continues

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24th May 2010: Just about a month after a leading UK charity for lesbian and gay asylum seekers found refusal rate was much higher for lesbian and gay applicants, another research by a leading British charity indicates such asylum-seekers raped, tortured and threatened in their native countries are being routinely deported. This follows systemic discrimination against them in the UK.

 

The research, `No Going Back’ by Stonewall gives in details the evidence from lesbian and gay asylum-seekers. The research also features staff at the UK Border Agency.

The report has come to the conclusion that the UKBA does not know how to question lesbian and gay people about their experiences. It is often assumed they’re either lying or will be able to avoid detection, if returned home.

Quoting them, the report says they have no guidance on interviewing the gay applicants from countries such as Uganda, Jamaica and Malawi. They determine the cases often on the basis of insufficient information on an asylum-seeker’s country of origin.

Stonewall says they will now be pressing the UK Border Agency and the Home Office urgently to implement the manifesto promises made by both partners in the new government to end the `profound injustice’.

Stonewall has also come out with recommendations to prevent and rectify fundamental errors of judgement made by the UKBA staff. The suggestions include robust policy, guidance and training of all UKBA decision-makers. This is to ensure legitimate LGB asylum-seekers are questioned effectively and given fairer case hearings.

Supported by Herbert Smith, the report gives details of shocking abuse and persecution lesbian, gay and bisexual people face in many countries

Giving details, Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill says the report provides both shocking and clear evidence of institutional homophobia in Britain’s asylum system. Legitimate asylum-seekers are frequently being deported.

Earlier, the `UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group’ had underscored disproportionate levels of rejection for homosexual applicants.

After looking at the decisions of UK Border Agency at interview stage, the group found although refusal at this stage was high for all asylum applicants, it was much higher for lesbian and gay applicants.

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