European Parliament calls for special protection of LGBT asylum-seekers

Published: April 6, 2011

Members of the European Parliament voted today to modernise the EU-wide system for examining asylum claims. Among the measures adopted today, groups of asylum-seekers with special needs were updated to include people fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a report drafted by French centre-left MEP Sylvie Guillaume (Socialists & Democrats), the European Parliament adopted a series of amendments to guarantee that lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people seeking asylum in the EU would receive particular attention.

Measures include providing expert advice to asylum officials on sexual orientation and gender identity; protecting claimants’ privacy; guaranteeing that physical examinations fully respect human dignity and integrity, for instance in cases involving minors or transgender people; and ensuring that applications by LGBT asylum-seekers are not ‘fast-tracked’ for removal to their country of origin.

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