Home Office bans caseworkers from asking LGBT asylum seekers for ‘proof’ of gay sex

On Aug 8, 2016 Pink News reported: The Home Office has issued guidance banning caseworkers from asking LGBT asylum seekers for explicit details about their sex lives – but they can still be quizzed about local gay bars.

In 2014, the UK’s then-Home Secretary Theresa May carried out a review of the way LGBT asylum seekers are treated – but despite reforms, there has been continued criticism of inappropriate and discriminatory treatment within the asylum system.
One lesbian asylum seeker was told she couldn’t be gay because she has children, while a bisexual asylum seeker was compelled to show caseworkers explicit pictures of himself having gay sex to ‘prove’ his sexuality.

Under new Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the Home Office this month issued a new Asylum Policy Instruction on Sexual Orientation in asylum claims, which serves as guidance for caseworkers.

It warns that under EU law, caseworkers cannot rely on stereotypes about gay people, explicit sex details or photographic ‘evidence’ to ascertain the sexuality of people seeking asylum.

It says: “Questions based solely on stereotypical behaviour cannot be relied on in order to assess evidence put forward by a claimant: any assessment made solely on the basis of stereotyped notions associated with homosexuals will not satisfy the requirements of EU law, in that it does not allow those authorities to take account of the individual situation and personal circumstances of the claimant for asylum concerned.

“Detailed questioning in regard to sexual practices must not be asked: any such questions are contrary to the fundamental rights guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and, in particular, to the right to respect for private and family life.

Read more, including some criticism at Home Office bans caseworkers from asking LGBT asylum seekers for ‘proof’ of gay sex · PinkNews

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