Gender-Related Refugee Claims: Expanding the Scope of the Canadian Guidelines
38 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2008 Last revised: 27 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 1, 2007
In 1993 the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada adopted guidelines entitled Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution . The Guidelines represent a cutting edge approach and have helped to guarantee a refugee determination process for women refugees that is more sensitive to gender-related claims of asylum. However, the author demonstrates that the concept of gender-based persecution, as it is presently defined, makes it difficult for members of the Board to systematically evaluate all types of gender-related persecution, to which certain men and women are subjected. The author examines asylum claims based on sexual orientation and identity, as well as those based on persecution specifically inflicted upon men, and argues that the gender-specific analytical framework adopted by the Immigration and Refugee Board is relevant to these cases. The author concludes that change is needed in the form of a more clearly defined social constructionist interpretation of gender. Clearly, defining gender as a socially constructed concept would reveal the gender-specific factors that interfere with the rights of certain men and would make more visible the links between gender and other causes of persecution, like sexual orientation.
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