Independent Human Rights Documentation and Sexual Minorities: An Ongoing Challenge for the Canadian Refugee Determination Process
International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 13, No. 2/3, pp. 437-476, 2009
Posted: 8 Apr 2011 Last revised: 2 Feb 2015
Date Written: April 5, 2011
Sexual minorities must meet the same evidentiary burden as all other refugee claimants. Independent country information produced by international human rights organisations plays an important role in meeting this burden. However, in the case of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender claimants, existing country documentation still fails to provide the kind of information refugees need to support their claims. This is due to the continual struggle of human rights organisations to properly document abuses against sexual minorities. Also, the legal questions most relevant to claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity have shifted over the last 15 years. Early cases turned on whether a claimant’s fear of persecution was well founded or whether the claimants were able to prove their sexual orientation. Recent cases have focused on the distinction between persecution and discrimination, the availability of state protection, and possible regional contrasts in the treatment of sexual minorities within a country. The shift in legal issues requires evidence that is either not available or is not sufficiently focused or detailed to meet the legal requirements of the Canadian refugee determination process.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation