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Only danger to lesbians in India is from their own family, rules tribunal 


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Only danger to lesbians in India is from their own family, rules tribunal:

(1)    The guidance in MD (same-sex oriented males) India CG [2014] UKUT 65 (IAC) stands. The guidance at (a) – (f) in MD (India) applies equally to lesbians.

(2)    A risk of persecution or serious harm for a lesbian woman in India, where it exists, arises from her family members, and the extent of such risk, and whether it extends beyond the home area, is a question of fact in each case.

(3)    The risk of persecution or serious harm is higher for uneducated lower class lesbian women in rural areas, who remain under the control of their family members and may not be permitted to leave the home to continue meeting their lesbian partners.

(4)    Where family members are hostile to a lesbian woman’s sexuality, they may reject her completely and sometimes formally renounce her as a member of that family. In such a case, whether relocation to a city is unduly harsh will be a question of fact, depending on the ability of such a lesbian woman to survive economically away from her family and social networks.

(5)    If a lesbian woman’s family wishes to pursue and harm her in the place of internal relocation, their ability to do so will depend on the reach of the family network, how persistent they are, and how influential. The evidence indicates that there is normally sufficient state protection for women whose families seek to harm them in their place of internal relocation.

(6)    In general, where there is a risk of persecution or serious harm in a lesbian woman’s home area, for educated, and therefore ‘middle class’ women, an internal relocation option is available. They are likely to be able to relocate to one of the major cities in India and are likely to be able to find employment and support themselves, albeit with difficulty, and to live together openly, should they choose to do so. In general, such relocation will not be unduly harsh.

Source: AR and NH (lesbians) (CG) [2016] UKUT 66 (IAC) (1 February 2016)

Interested in refugee law? You might like Colin's book, imaginatively called "Refugee Law" and published by Bristol University Press.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.