Asylum: LGBT People

Home Office written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Claire Hanna Claire Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been granted asylum in the UK as a result of persecution for being LGBTQ+ in their home state within the last two years.

Photo of Claire Hanna Claire Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department takes to confirm an individual's sexual orientation for the purpose of asylum claims.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

UIN: 119421

A claimant seeking protection on the basis of their sexual orientation is required to substantiate the claim they are lesbian, gay or bi-sexual (LGB), or perceived to be so by others, and that they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country arising from this sexual identity. They are required to establish this to a reasonable degree of likelihood.

We do not accept that someone is LGB simply because they affirm it. Any such declarations will form the starting point of explorations and all claims will be subject to a proper assessment of all relevant facts and circumstances.

Our processes ensure applicants are afforded ample opportunity to establish how they define and identify themself sexually and how their sexual identity is relevant to fears around future risk of harm.

The Home Office approach to considering such claims is based on dedicated published guidance and training aimed at ensuring that claims are handled sensitively and appropriately. Our guidance and training products reflect all relevant UK caselaw and all claims are considered on their merits in accordance with the obligations under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

UIN: 119420:

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications and initial decisions for main applicants for whom sexual orientation formed part of the basis of their claim, broken down by nationality in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. The latest data, covering the period from 2015 to 2019 were published in Immigration Statistics, year ending June 2020. Data on the number of grants of asylum at initial decision where sexual orientation formed a basis of their claim are published in tables SOC_00 and SOC_02 of the ‘Asylum claims on the basis of sexual orientation tables’.

Data published in this release relate to the number of asylum claims made where sexual orientation – lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) – formed part of the basis of the claim. The data do not represent the number of asylum claimants who define themselves as LGB. Having an identifier that an asylum case is based on sexual orientation does not indicate that a claimant has any particular sexuality or that sexual orientation is the reason for any grant or refusal of asylum. It also does not signify whether that aspect of the claim has been accepted. Sexual orientation as a basis of claim could be due to imputed assertions or association rather than a defining characteristic of the claimant.

These data are experimental statistics and should be interpreted with caution. Experimental statistics are statistics that are in a testing phase and are not yet fully developed. These statistics have not been subject to the full level of quality assurance of National Statistics. Further details can be found in the Office for National Statistics Guide to Experimental Statistics.

The next published update will be August 2021, covering the period from 2015 to 2020.

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