New statistics show proportion of LGB-related asylum claims granted protection by the Home Office fell between 2015 and 2017.
Home Office experimental statistics released today reveal that the grant rate for people claiming asylum on the basis of their sexual orientation fell from 39% in 2015 to 22% in 2017. The grant rate for LGB-related asylum claims (29%) was below that for all asylum claims (36%).
Leila Zadeh, Executive Director of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG), said,
‘The decline in the proportion of sexual orientation-based asylum claims is extremely worrying. Our research has shown that the Home Office routinely disbelieves LGBTQI+ asylum claimants and disregard statements from friends, partners and LGBTQI+ organisations testifying to a claimant’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Home Office is setting the bar too high for LGBTQI+ people. They are not applying the correct legal standard of proof that it is ‘reasonably likely’ that someone will be persecuted.
It is imperative that the Home Secretary agrees to an independent public audit into asylum decision-making’.
Mo, a gay man, fled the Middle East after his family caught him with his boyfriend and severely beat him. He said,
‘The Home Office treat me like I’m a liar. I’ve told them my situation, but they don’t believe me. I have a medical report and they asked why it was in English, but that’s normal in my country. I don’t know how I can prove to them that my story is true’.
The statistics also show that the success rate at appeal was also lower for LGB-related claims (34%) compared to all claims (37%).
In May this year, a report by IARAN found there is a ‘hidden humanitarian crisis’ facing LGBTQI+ people around the world.
Notes to editors
EXPERIMENTAL STATISTICS: Asylum claims on the basis of sexual orientation was published on 29 November 2018 and is available to download from the government website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-september-2018/experimental-statistics-asylum-claims-on-the-basis-of-sexual-orientation
The statistics are an update on the first Home Office ‘experimental statistics’ released in November 2017.
Claims on the basis of gender identity are not included in these statistics.
UKLGIG has been supporting LGBTQI+ people through the asylum process since 2003. We provide psychosocial support, legal advice and information, and advocate for changes in government policy and practice.
Contact: Leila Zadeh, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07434 655353