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Child LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers not adequately protected

Queer youths seeking asylum in the Netherlands are not adequately protected. The system that assesses asylum claims lacks child-specific processes and often fails to notice these youths' suffering.

On Friday 8 December, Elias Tissandier-Nasom gave a presentation at the LGBTQIA+ Research Day 2023 organised by the Flemish-Dutch LGBTI Research Network, VU Pride, UvA Pride, Utrecht University and the Centre of Expertise for the Study of LGBTQIA+ Issues at the University of Groningen and held in Utrecht.

During his presentation, he reflected on the assessments of LGBTQIA+ youths' asylum claims. More specifically, he addressed the many obstacles that they may face in attempting to have their sexual orientation and gender identity recognised by asylum claim assessors. The presentation focused on the impact of social views of children’s capacity to develop a stable identity on the strategy used by asylum claims assessors to assess the credibility of claims. The widespread view that children are incapable of being LGBTQIA+ results in assessors' inability to view them as fitting the ‘immutable characteristics’ criteria for membership to a specific social group under the refugee definition. In turn, this translates into a failure to notice the suffering of these children, and therefore persecution and a lack of child-specific strategies. Altogether, this enables the erasure of queer youth identity and leads to inadequate protection of LGBTQIA+ children in asylum claims processes.

Photo through Unsplash+.

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