Sexual Orientation in Canada's Revised Refugee Determination System: An Empirical Snapshot
Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 29 (2017)
31 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 1, 2017
This is one of several articles in a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law to celebrate Nicole LaViolette’s research contributions relating to intersections between gender and sexual orientation in Canadian and international law of forced migration.
Inspired by three aspects of LaViolette’s research, the article offers a snapshot of how Canada’s recently revised refugee determination system addresses refugee claims involving allegations of persecution due to sexual orientation. Using data obtained through access to information requests about 18,221 principal applicant refugee determinations from 2013 to 2015, the article examines patterns in outcomes in cases categorized by the Immigration and Refugee Board as involving sexual orientation.The article also examines patterns in the reasoning offered in 247 published Refugee Appeal Division decisions involving sexual orientation.
The author concludes that, despite clear progress, some sexual minority refugee claimants continue to struggle to have their refugee claims adjudicated fairly and that different sexual minority groups encounter unique challenges in this regard. The article ends with recommendations for further research.
Keywords: Refugee law, Sexual Orientation, Gender, Canada, Administrative Law, Empirical Legal Studies
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