Implementing the European Asylum Policy Related to Sogi in France: Power Dynamics between Asylum Agencies and LGBTQ NGOs

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Streeterville East (InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile)
Ahmed Hamila , Political Science and Sociology, Université de Montréal/Université Libre de Bruxelles, Canada
Same-sex sexual activity is criminalized in 73 countries. In 13 of these countries, LGBTQ persons face death penalty in the event of an actual or suspected same-sex sexual acts. Persecuted LGBTQ persons increasingly flee their country of origin to seek international protection. Only recently, the European Union recognizes persecutions based on sexual orientation as grounds to grant refugee status through its Qualification Directive. However, NGOs reports have shown that there are considerable differences in the way in which European States examine LGBTQ asylum applications and that in many cases European State practice is below the standards required by international and European human rights and refugee law.

How is the EU Qualification Directive implemented within Members States? Focusing on the case of France, my paper aims to analyze the different steps that led to the implementation of SOGI instruments within the OFPRA, the French asylum agency, and to identifies the stakeholders involved in this process and the power dynamics between them. I argue that if France seems to comply with the European Asylum Policy Related to Sexual Orientation by developing SOGI instruments to assess LGBTQ asylum cases, the lack of collaboration with LGBTQ NGOs make these instruments inadequate to establish the credibility of LGBTQ asylum seekers.