CORDIS - EU research results

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum: A European human rights challenge

Project description

Considering gender identity and sexual orientation of asylum-seekers

Every year, thousands seek asylum in Europe, citing their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as grounds for protection. However, many of them face rejection. To address this issue, the EU-funded SOGICA project aims to provide a comprehensive and comparative understanding of the legal experiences and status of asylum-seekers based on their SOGI across Europe. By examining SOGI-related asylum claims within various European frameworks (EU, Council of Europe, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom), the project will generate policy recommendations to improve the fairness and adequacy of national, EU and Council of Europe asylum systems. These recommendations will consider the diverse sociocultural, gender identity and sexual orientation aspects of asylum seekers.


This project will generate the first ever theoretically and empirically-grounded comparative and comprehensive picture of the status and legal experiences of asylum-seekers across Europe claiming international protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI), and determine how the European asylum systems can treat more fairly asylum claims based on the claimant’s SOGI. Every year, thousands of individuals claim asylum in Europe based on their SOGI, and more often than not their claims are treated unfairly, especially considering the disproportionately high rate of refusals on these grounds. There have been very limited attempts to address this issue, and this research will overcome this gap by carrying out a study more comprehensive than any other done in this field in the past, and producing outcomes that are unparalleled in terms of their reach.

My main objectives are: 1) to analyse how SOGI related claims are adjudicated in different asylum legal European frameworks (EU, CoE, Germany, Italy, UK), and 2) to produce detailed policy recommendations in regard to the national, European Union and Council of Europe asylum adjudication systems, to the effect of developing a system that addresses adequately the socio-cultural, gender identity and sexual diversity of asylum-seekers.

For the first time, a combined comparative, interdisciplinary (socio-legal), human rights and empirical approach will be adopted to research this field, which requires a substantial long period of research and sustained funding. This approach ensures the unique character of the findings and their impact on improving the current law, policy and decision-making regarding SOGI asylum claims, which are increasingly under close scrutiny across Europe. I am in a unique position to achieve these objectives, in the light of my experience with publications , projects and NGOs in the field of human rights and refugees from socio-legal, empirical and European perspectives.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 000 565,00
BN1 9RH Brighton
United Kingdom

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South East (England) Surrey, East and West Sussex Brighton and Hove
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 000 565,00

Beneficiaries (2)