SOGICA Project, ‘Submission to the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee’s “Equality and the UK asylum process” enquiry’, 2021
SOGICA Project, ‘Submission to the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee’s “Equality and the UK asylum process” enquiry’, 17 November 2021
SOGICA (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum: A European Human Rights Challenge) has been a four-year (2016-2020) research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) exploring the social and legal experiences of individuals across Europe claiming international protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). Our research addresses the needs of a group of people who are often marginalized and face particular problems reaching a safer place, claiming asylum in the UK, and integrating in the UK society. There is increased awareness of SOGI persecution as well as examples of good policy and practice that should be publicised and replicated. However, alongside these, the SOGICA project found many areas where improvement is urgently needed, and we address these here.
In this submission, we therefore identify key elements of our findings and recommendations that we urge the UK government to adopt in its national asylum policy. While these recommendations do not address the full range of concerns the SOGICA project has identified, they do pick up some of the key ones that concern the UK asylum system in particular.