UK: recent Upper Tribunal Country Guidance decisions

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The UK Upper Tribunal has issued a new country guidance decision on trafficked women from Albania, which updates its previous guidance on this issue in AM and BM.  It has also issued guidance on the risk of persecution for lone single women In Pakistan.

When considering the risk for gay men in Algeria for its country guidance the Tribunal found that homosexual behaviour is criminalised by legislation in Algeria but that there is no real risk of prosecution, taking note of the ruling in Minister voor Immigratie en Asiel v. X, Y and Z. The only risk of ill-treatment sufficient to amount to persecution is likely to be at the hands of the family of a gay man in Algeria, with no reliable evidence to establish risk from others.

The Tribunal also considers the issue of ‘concealment’ finding that a gay man may choose to conceal his homosexuality and live discreetly to avoid shame or disrespect rather than to avoid persecution.Considering the evidence, the UT finds that if a gay man flees the family home in order to avoid persecution, he will not be at risk of persecution at his place of relocation as he will generally choose not to live openly as a gay man. This is driven by respect for social mores and a desire to avoid disapproval that does not amount to persecution, and also as an Algerian man may not self-identify as a gay man in any event.

As such the Tribunal considers that a gay man from Algeria will be entitled to recognition as a refugee only if he can show that it would be unreasonable and unduly harsh for him to internally relocate to avoid persecution from his family; or if he can show particular characteristics which may give rise to a risk of treatment amounting to persecution.

In AR and NH, the Tribunal gave Country Guidance on the risk to lesbians in India, finding that its guidance on “same-sex oriented males” in MD (India) applied equally. It found that the risk of persecution for lesbians in India would generally arise from family members though whether risk extended beyond the home is a question of fact in each case. Internal flight/relocation alternative will depend on the facts and circumstances of the woman in question but there would normally be sufficient state protection, and it is possible for lesbian women to live openly in one of the major cities of India.

For further information on actors of protection and internal protection alternative please see the APAIPA comparative report.

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Country of origin information
Gender Based Persecution
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Persecution (acts of)
Persecution Grounds/Reasons