Charity welcomes new Home Office guidance for gay asylum cases

Scott Roberts
Original Article:

New Home Office guidance for caseworkers dealing with claims from people fleeing homophobic persecution has been welcomed by the head of a leading campaign organisation.

The guidance was published today in response to last year’s critical report by Borders and Immigration Chief Inspector John Vine.

Mr Vine found a fifth of asylum interviews contained stereotyping and a tenth contained inappropriate questions likely to elicit a sexual response.

Home Secretary Theresa May ordered the review by Mr Vine in March last year, following a leaked report published by The Observer revealing that gay asylum seekers continued to face degrading “interrogations” about their sex lives by Home Office staff.

Today’s new guidance states that caseworkers must conduct “a sensitive enquiry into the development and exploration of the claimant’s sexual identity and the extent to which it is relevant to the assessment of the need for protection. It should not be an enquiry into any explicit sexual activity.”

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