- 21 Mar 23
Ireland's Justice Department will increase the training and improve the protocol for claims made by LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers.
The International Protection Office (IPO) interviewers will receive more training about trauma-informed questioning for asylum seekers who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The questioning before was insensitive in regards to peoples’ sexual orientations and gender identities. This invasive line of questioning could potentially lead to people feeling forced to relive past trauma, The GCN reports.
“The IPO intends to deliver further training in relation to assessing sexual orientation and gender identity claims in conjunction with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre in 2023,” stated a representative of the Department of Justice. The new questioning aims to be more inclusive of these identities.
Same-sex relationships are illegal in 68 countries, with 11 countries utilising the death penalty. Queer asylum seekers have the right to be granted refugee status if they would be legally punished.
The asylum seekers must go through a “credibility test” to see if they meet the criteria for international protection, but many have stated that the questions are dehumanising.
The Irish Refugee Council and LGBT Ireland have recommended alternate training guidelines. The report 'Believe me or not but I am who I am', published last year, highlighted a different approach.
One of the most powerful events I've been at. Brave people seeking international protection, some sharing their story publicly for the first time. V happy to support this excellent initiative of @LGBT_ie and @IrishRefugeeCo Check out the research Believe Me or Not but #iamwhoiam https://t.co/2iHfy8tprq
— St Stephen's Green Trust (@SSGTIrl) June 28, 2022
The research and recommended plan of action would be to implement a set board of interviewers for the individuals. This recommendation was part of a larger look at the IPO through the perspective of LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers and their experiences with the process.
“Given the sensitivity of the issues involved, Nasc believes that standards should be prepared and published for interviewers of LGBTI+ applicants which are in line with international law and best practice guidelines, including the relevant United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) guidelines,” Brian Collins, the Advocacy and Service manager for Nasc, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre, told the GCN.
Despite the Department conducting monthly quality checks with UNHCR on the ethics of their asylums, the Department has not released the questions and process of how they examine LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Last year saw the highest number of asylum seeker applications in Ireland since records began - with 13,319 people seeking protection during 2022.
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 01 Feb 23