LGBTI Asylum Seekers - A Qualitative study of the Case Procedures of Asylum Claims Based on Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity

Rebecca Christine Smith-Sivertsen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


During the last decade the Western asylum systems have had to adapt to a new situation in the international refugee protection regime, where persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity has become a legitimate asylum claim. Nevertheless, the Western asylum systems struggle to accommodate to the diversity among the asylum seekers, and the case procedures of these cases are characterized by lack of knowledge of diversity among ways of being LGBTI, as well as issues connected to Western-bias in terms of culture and LGBTI identities. This thesis is a study of the challenges and issues that exist in relation to the case procedures of LGBTI asylum claims in the Western world, researched through case study interviews with LGBTI persons who have applied for asylum in Denmark. These issues are studied through a theoretical framework build with concepts from the theory of intersectionality, with its emphasis on the intersecting identity markers which create the life and opportunities of marginalized individuals, and postcolonialism, with its critical approach to structures with Western bias. The interviews point to a situation where LGBTI asylum seekers face great challenges in the processing of their asylum claims both in terms of accommodation and general well-being, and in terms of the way the Western asylum authorities handle LGBTI asylum cases, and the procedural approaches the asylum institutions have to these cases. The case procedures are approached with a generalized view on asylum seekers, and the case workers receive no specific training on how to handle asylum cases where the applicant is LGBTI, meaning that they often have to rely on their own Western-biased perceptions and stereotypical conceptions on how LGBTI persons should behave and look. This leads to a situation where LGBTI persons who are in need of - and entitled to - protection sometimes do not get it, because the asylum systems struggle to take the diversity of asylum seekers into account.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato11 jan. 2016
VejledereLaura Horn


  • Asylum