Magazine article Forced Migration Review

Challenges to Producing LGB-Specific Country of Origin Information

Magazine article Forced Migration Review

Challenges to Producing LGB-Specific Country of Origin Information

Article excerpt

Evaluations of whether lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) asylum claimants have a well-founded fear of persecution frequently require Country of Origin Information (COI) on the state of LGB people in the country of origin. However, information on LGB populations in countries where being LGB is criminalised is often difficult to obtain and frequently anecdotal. First-hand accounts from LGB people themselves are rare.

In order to help address this lack of information in Tanzania, I interviewed 40 self-identified LGB people in Dar es Salaam. Some organisations and individuals - primarily those who advocate for shielding LGB advocacy within advocacy for HIV/ AIDS prevention and treatment - advised me that people would refuse to answer direct questions regarding their sexual orientation. However, I did not find that direct questions alienated respondents (even those who did not self-identify as LGB).

Those whom I interviewed had experienced discrimination by family members, removal from school, derogatory and hate language, harassment by police, humiliating treatment by medical providers, fear of accessing public transportation and, in one case, corrective rape. …

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