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Sexual orientation and gender identity in the asylum claims

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There is no legal basis in Switzerland for the special treatment of asylum seekers who are persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But according to Art. To be given refugee status, the person seeking asylum must be seriously in danger in their country of origin because of their sexual identity or orientation.

According to SEM practices, people cannot receive asylum simply for being from a country that punishes homosexual activities if the person seeking asylum cannot provide credible proof. Authorities must be threatening to imprison the asylum seeker, who must provide proof that they themselves are at risk of being arrested. Therefore, people are granted asylum based on adverse effects or proven fears they will face discrimination, rather than the general laws and regulations in the country of origin.

Measures of persecution are only relevant in the asylum process if the type and intensity make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the person to lead a decent life. Difficulties such as official controls and harassment, arbitrary arrests, discrimination at work or at school and job loss, may not be sufficient reasons to grant asylum if they are not intense enough.

Title, Fleeing Homophobia, Asylum Claims...

They must provide credible proof that they experienced serious disadvantages due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Asylum seekers must present their personal experiences seamlessly and without any inconsistencies for the plea to sound credible. The whole narrative has to be detailed, consistent and naturalistic. Any subsequent corrections or additions will be considered implausible as they are provided too late.

This is a problem for LGBTI asylum seekers because they often cannot talk openly about their sexual orientation or gender identity during the asylum application interview.

Often they have kept their sexual orientation or identity a secret for years because they are afraid or ashamed. Therefore, LGBTI asylum seekers may provide other reasons for flight or only submit the real reason later on. For this reason, authorities should not immediately deem all retrospective corrections implausible.

Authorities do not currently show any understanding of this reality. The Court of Justice of the European Union CJEU decided in late that homosexuals should not be expected to hide their sexual orientation in order to avoid persecution in their home country.

The SEM also stresses that sexual orientation and gender identity are essential parts of human identity.

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