Asylum Seekers

Home Department written question – answered on 17th March 2005.

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Photo of Mrs Barbara Roche Mrs Barbara Roche Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Department plans to undertake further research on the situation in the countries of origin of lesbian and gay people making asylum claims.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Minister of State (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality)

The country information material produced by the Home Office, for use by officials in the asylum determination process, is compiled from up to date information from a wide range of well recognised sources about the situation in the country of origin.

These sources include intergovernmental bodies (such as UN agencies), governmental sources (including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development as well as other Governments) and human rights organisations (such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group). Country reports, which are produced biannually on the top 20 asylum intake countries, include a section on the treatment of homosexuals and lesbians, which usually draws upon material produced by organisations focusing on gay issues such as the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

In addition, case-specific research is undertaken as required where additional detailed information is needed to decide an individual asylum or human rights application.

There are no plans at present to undertake further specific research regarding the treatment of gays and lesbians.

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