Neocolonial agendas and asylum for women and sexual minorities

Dustin, Moira (2018) Neocolonial agendas and asylum for women and sexual minorities. Sussex Student Law Journal, 2 (1). pp. 25-33.

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While the refugee convention was not written to protect women and LGBTI people, subsequent treaties and directives recognise the violence they experience as legitimate grounds for claiming asylum. However, to meet the threshold for persecution, it is expedient for women and LGBTI asylum seekers to present themselves as abject victims of brutal and backward regimes, reinforcing dichotomies between refugee- producing and refugee-receiving countries. Such narratives obscure the misogyny, homo- and transphobia prevalent in the West, potentially appropriating migrants’ rights for neocolonial agendas. This phenomenon has been identified by theorists within feminism, black feminist theory, queer theory, and post-colonialism. However, move to the field of practice and the surest way to secure refugee status is invariably to tell a story that resonates with decision makers; one in which an oppressed individual is given sanctuary in the pro-gay and female-friendly West. To tell a more nuanced story would jeopardise the individual’s claim, and women and LGBTI people already struggle to meet the requirements for refugee protection in a system that was not designed for them. This paper explores this difficulty in bridging theory and practice in relation to gender and sexual orientation based asylum claims.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Gender, Asylum, LGBT, Neocolonialism
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research
Sussex European Institute
Depositing User: Moira Dustin
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2018 14:09
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 14:21

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