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Asylum seekers making sex videos to prove they are gay

Leading legal expert claims the UK has failed in protecting LGBT asylum seekers as they find new ways of 'proving their sexuality'

Asylum seekers making sex videos to prove they are gay

The UK has failed in protecting gay asylum seekers, according to a leading expert.

S Chelvan, a renowned lawyer reputable in asylum claims based on sexual or gender identity, has said refugees are put under increasing pressure to ‘prove’ their sexual orientation.

In a lecture to be delivered this week at the Law Society, he will say some asylum seekers are resorting to film themselves having sex just to prove they are gay to government officials.

Chelvan said: ‘Gay and lesbian asylum seekers come to the UK for protection, but a culture of disbelief sees some go to extreme lengths to prove their sexuality.

‘They find themselves in an intolerable position. It is inhumane. It is wrong.’

The UK Border Agency decided in 2010 to allow gay men, lesbians and bisexuals if they were not allowed to live openly in their country of origin.

Before 2010, those seeking asylum were often refused permission on the grounds they could behave with ‘discretion’ when returned.

Instead of a ‘ticking the box’ system, Chelvan argues there should be a different model when dealing with refugee claims based on sexual or gender identity.

He says by introducing his Difference, Stigma, Shame, Harm model as an alternative will be a more balanced way of determining whether to grant an individual asylum.

Law Society President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: ‘We tend to think that, in terms of LGBT rights and protections, we’ve got it right. That in the UK, LGBT individuals have equal rights and are protected against discrimination.

‘Yet there is a question whether these rights and protections apply to the most vulnerable individuals: asylum seekers who have fled to the UK because in their country of origin their situation is so dire, so desperate they fear for their own safety.’

Gay rights charity Stonewall’s Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said when LGBT people flee from persecution, ‘it’s absolutely right’ countries like the UK should treat them with respect and care.

He said: ‘We can’t return to a situation where people were being deported to countries where they were at risk of being executed just because of the way they were born.’


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