Andrea Grønningsæter (UiB) in conversation with Deniz Akin (NTNU):
Sexual minorities face specific judicial and procedural challenges when applying for asylum. One of the central challenges that queer asylum seekers face in the asylum procedure is establishing the credibility of their sexual orientation. In other words, who are considered to be a ‘real’ gay, lesbian or bisexual asylum seeker?
Andrea Grønningsæter will present her master’s project that examines how the Norwegian immigration authorities assess the credibility of asylum claims that are based on a person’s sexual orientation. The analysis is done through a case study of 187 Norwegian asylum cases from 2010-2015. The presentation will be followed by a conversation with Deniz Akin where they will explore how concepts such as sexual orientation is understood and established by the Norwegian immigration authorities, as well as how this practice relates to international recommendations such as UNHCR’s Guidelines on Claims to Refugee Status based on Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity.”
Deniz Akin is a Postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, Faculty of Humanities, NTNU, where she delivered her PhD Project: “Queer Challenges to the Norwegian Policies and Practices of Immigration: Asylum seeking in Norway on the grounds of sexual orientation-based persecution”. Akin has a B.S. in Sociology from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey, and is currently working on the project “Sharing Neighborhoods” which examines the role of digital sharing platforms in social interaction in neighbourhoods.
Andrea Grønningsæter is a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Law, UiB, and wrote her master’s paper on the credibility assessment in asylum claims based on sexual orientation in 2016 at the Faculty of Law, UiO. Grønningsæter has also worked for JURK and Skeiv ungdom and is currently working on a phd-thesis regarding the right to asylum on the basis of sexual orientation in accordance with Norwegian immigration law. In particular the project aims to analyze the significance of an asylum seeker’s ability to modify or conceal their sexual orientation in the country of origin when assessing the right to refugee status.