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Limits to checking sexual orientation of asylum seeker

by our Editors in History & Politics , 18 januari 2015


Countries in the EU are allowed to determine whether an asylum seeker who says he or she is homosexual is telling the truth, but the check should not become too intimate.

This is the result of an arrest of the European Court of Justice, which was requested by the Dutch Council of State. In practice the verdict means that civil servants are not allowed to ask about details of the sex life of an asylum seeker. They are also not allowed to administer a test that proofs sexual orientation, or ask for video recordings in which the asylum seeker is performing homosexual acts.

The case at the Council of State revolves around three asylum seekers who requested asylum in The Netherlands. They say they are gay and fear persecution in their own country.

Civil servants of the Dutch Immigration and Nationalisation Service (IND) did not believe them, and rejected their applications. The three then lodged an appeal against the Council of State. The Council of State went to the European Court to get clarity on the question how far a country can go to determine the orientation of an asylum seeker.

A spokeswoman of the Ministry of Security and Justice stated that the IND will not change the way these kinds of asylum requests are dealt with. According to her, the current procedure complies with the arrest by the European Court. The Ministry awaits the Council of State's final verdict.



 







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