Fleeing Homophobia Conference
VU University Amsterdam, 5 and 6 September 2011
Credibility Assessment in LGB cases: the case of the UK
In this short time we have, I want to present the example of the UK and how it has dealtwith the challenge of credibility assessment in LGB cases. As the UK is one of the first EUmember states to introduce policy specifically for LGB cases as well as provide specific LGBtraining to case owners, I hope that what we learn from their experience can help informhow we work in our own individual states to improve the practice of credibility assessmentof LGB cases.In the UK credibility is too often the key determinant in an asylum decision. It is of evengreater, indeed critical importance in LGB cases as believing the applicant is gay, lesbian orbisexual is fundamental to a finding they come within the protection of the 1951 RefugeeConvention.UKBA is the government body in the UK with responsibility for processing applications forasylum and international humanitarian protection.
Until recently, UKBA was vulnerable toserious criticism over its handling of LGB cases. For example, the UK Lesbian and GayImmigration Group (‘UKLGIG’), in their report ‘Failing the Grade’, had found a 98-99% rateof refusal for asylum applications based on sexual orientation by UKBA compared to 76.5%refusal rate for other claims.
Hence, practitioners and NGOs have been lobbying for a new
The UKLGIG report was an analysis of what UKLGIG called, ‘the disproportionate scale of LBGT asylumrefusals. See:http://www.uklgig.org.uk/docs/publications/Failing%20the%20Grade%20UKLGIG%20April%202010.pdf