1. definition
  2. examples and/or illustrations
  3. other useful sources
  4. bibliography
  5. case law


Abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/LGBT?s=ts (accessed on March 23, 2012)

French translation: LGBT – lesbienne, gais, bisexuels et transgenres


Examples and/or Illustrations

“A person seeking refugee status under the social group category must demonstrate that:

  1. A particular social group exists.
  2. The applicant is a member of the particular social group.
  3. The applicant has a well founded fear of persecution owing to such membership.”

“Sexual orientation encompasses 3 factors:

  1. sexual behaviour.
  2. sexual orientation.
  3. sexual identity.”

European Council on Refugees and Exiles, ELENA Research Paper on Sexual Orientation as a Ground for Recognition of Refugee Status, 1 June 1997, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3decd1fa4.html (accessed 23 March 2012)

 “LGBTI persons are entitled to all human rights on an equal basis with others. These rights are enshrined in international human rights and refugee law instruments. States have a duty to protect asylum-seekers and refugees from human rights violations regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Summary Conclusions: Asylum-Seekers and Refugees Seeking Protection on Account of their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, November 2010, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4cff99a42.html (accessed 23 March 2012)


Other Useful Sources

Amnesty International, Love, Hate and the Law, London, Amnesty International Publications, 2008, 68 p.  Available from: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/POL30/003/2008/en/e2388a0c-588b-4238-9939-de6911b4a1c5/pol3000 (accessed on March 23, 2012).

Amnesty International, Crimes of Hate, Conspiracy and Silence – Torture and ill-treatment based on sexual identity, ACT 40/016/2001, London, Amnesty International Publications 2001, 44. Available from: http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/asset/ACT40/016/2001/fr/bb63ae8f-d961-11dd-a057-592cb671dd8b/act400162001en.pdf (accessed on March 23, 2012).

Encyclopedia of Immigration, Gay and lesbian immigrants, http://immigration-online.org/515-gay-and-lesbian-immigrants.html (accessed on March 23, 2012).

The European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, Protection LGBT People Seeking Asylum – Guidelines on the Refugee Status Directive, October 2005, 20. Available from: www.ilga-europe.org/content/…/protecting.pdf (accessed on March 23, 2012).

Immigration Equality, http://www.immigrationequality.org/ (accessed on March 23, 2012)



Berg, Laurie and Jenni Millbank, “Constructing the Personal Narratives of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Asylum Claimants” (2009) 22(2) Journal of Refugee Studies, 195-223.

Biekša, Laurynas, The refugee Qualification Problem in LGBT Asylum Cases, Department of International and European Union Law, Mykolo Romerio Universitetas, ISSN 2029–2058,  2011, 18(4), 1555–1565.

Cantú, Lionel, Naples, Nancy A. And Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, The sexuality of migration: border crossings and Mexican immigrant me, New York; London : New York University Press, 2009, 245.

Dauvergne, Catherine and Jenni Millbank. “Burdened by Proof: How the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal Has Failed Lesbian and Gay Asylum Seekers” (2003) 31 Federal Law Review, 299-342.

Hanna, Fadi, “Punishing Masculinity in Gay Asylum Claims” (2005) 114 The Yale Law Journal, 913.

Weßels, Janna, Sexual Orientation in Refugee Status Determination, Working Paper Series No. 73, Refugee Centre Studies (Oxford Department of International Development), April 2011, 58.


Case Law


  • RRT Case No. 1102251, [2011] RRTA 390, Australia: Refugee Review Tribunal, 24 May 2011
  • RRT Case No. 0905785, [2010] RRTA 150, Australia: Refugee Review Tribunal, 7 March 2010


  • Arrêt n° 50 966, N° 50 966, Belgium: Conseil du Contentieux des Etrangers, 9 November 2010


  • Canada (Attorney General) v. Ward, [1993] 2 S.C.R. 689 (J. La Forest said that “social group” could include individuals fearing persecution on “such bases as gender, linguistic background and sexual orientation.”)
  • Smith v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, 2009 FC 1194
  • X (Re), 2006, VA4-02012 (IRB)
  • X (Re), 2008, MA6-00296 (IRB)
  • X. c. Canada (Immigration and Refugee Board), 2001, TA0-05930


  • F. v. United Kingdom, Application no. 17341/03 , Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights, 22 June 2004