chapter  1
31 Pages

Introduction: fl eeing homophobia, asylum claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe


Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex1 (LGBTI) asylum seekers apply for asylum in Europe each year.2 In principle they can fi nd safety in Europe as recognised refugees or through other forms of international protection. According to Article 1-A of the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees(Refugee Convention) a refugee is a person with a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of one of the fi ve persecution grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group and political opinion. For a long time sexual orientation and gender identity3 were not considered as relevant persecution grounds, but this major stumbling block for LGBTI asylum seekers has gradually been taken away.