Asylum: Afghanistan:Written question - HL5742

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 01 March 2017
Home Office
Asylum: Afghanistan
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which the latest Home Office guidance on LGBT asylum seekers from Afghanistan, which states that it may be a safe and viable option for a gay man to relocate to Kabul, whilst also identifying multiple risks to LGBT Afghans from their own families, from Afghan laws, and from Taliban insurgents, conforms to UNHCR guidelines on refugees, which specify that LGBT people should not be required to change or conceal their identity to avoid persecution.
Answered on: 15 March 2017

Our guidance fully complies with the Supreme Court judgement in HJ (Iran) which held that a person should not be required to ‘modify their beliefs’ or ‘act discretely’ in order to avoid persecution; if, on the other hand, they choose to do so for other – for example, private – reasons, then they may not be a refugee. Paragraphs 2.3.1, 2.3.2 and 2.57 of the Home Office’s Country Policy and Information Note ‘Afghanistan: sexual orientation and gender identity’ (published in January 2017) explicitly sets this out.

Our guidance also complies with the Upper Tribunal's decision in the country guidance case of AJ (Risk of Homosexuals) Afghanistan CG [2009] UKAIT 00001

The position has not significantly changed for LGBT people in Afghanistan since 2009, therefore the Upper Tribunal’s conclusion that internal relocation may be possible, depending on individual circumstances, remains valid and the Home Office guidance provides the context against which that assessment must be made in individual cases.

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