Reforming the Common European Asylum System: Enough Rainbow for Queer Asylum Seekers?
GenIUS - Rivista di studi giuridici sull'orientamento sessuale e sull'identita' di genere, 2018 (2) 25-42
24 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 23, 2018
Since the 1990s, the European Union (EU) has slowly developed an increasingly sophisticated body of asylum law and policy, known as the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). This framework – both in the shape of legislative instruments and case law – has inevitably also affected those asylum seekers who claim asylum on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI). This has been vividly demonstrated by particular norms in EU asylum instruments and judgments of the Court of Justice of EU (CJEU). The current CEAS can be said to have several shortcomings in relation to SOGI claims, including in relation to: accelerated procedures; country of origin information; the notion of ‘safe country of origin’; the burden of proof and the principle of benefit of the doubt; the concept of a ‘particular social group’; and the definition of persecution.
A new set of proposals for reform of the CEAS was put forward in 2016, and these also affect SOGI asylum claims in precise and acute ways. This contribution scrutinises these proposals of reform, including the different positions of the Commission, Parliament and Council, where relevant. In particular, this contribution will assess the extent to which these proposals and different institutional positions address, ignore or aggravate the issues that currently affect SOGI asylum seekers.
Keywords: European Union, asylum, Common European Asylum System, refugees, sexual orientation, gender identity, queer
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