Processing of applications for asylum in which the applicant has fled their country of origin for fear of persecution because of sexual orientation

Rebecca Shaw made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Home Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Home Office.

Dear Home Office,

I refer to the Freedom of Information Act request made by P Mills through whatdotheyknow.com on 10 January 2013 (your ref: 25814) and in particular to your reply dated 30 May 2013 which states:

"The handling of asylum applications based on sexual orientation

"The UKBA guidance note is aimed at ensuring that asylum claims based on sexual orientation are handled sensitively and appropriately.

"The note includes caselaw and legislation and is used in conjunction with the general guidance on conducting asylum interviews.

"Training on considering sexuality based claims is delivered to all asylum case owners as part of their foundation training programme.

"Each asylum application is considered in the context of the individual’s personal circumstances and in light of all available information about their country of origin. An individual who claims fear of persecution on return to their country of origin has their case fully considered on its merits in accordance with the obligations under the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. Where an individual is found to be in need of protection they are either granted asylum or humanitarian protection.

"Proof of sexuality
Applicants are not asked to prove their sexuality. Self-identification as lesbian, gayor bisexual is the starting point as an indication of a person’s sexual orientation. During the asylum interview case owners establish the material facts, and obtain detailed information to enable them to make a well-informed and balanced decision. In assessing the credibility of an application case owners ask open questions that allow applicants to describe the development of their identity and how this has affected their experiences both in their own country and in the UK. Case owners implement their training on sexual orientation issues to deal with applications sensitively and appropriately."

A. Foundation training programme - Sexual Orientation

1. Which organisation delivers the sexual orientation element of the foundation training programme?
2. What issues did the equality impact assessment (EqIA) which informed the delivery of that training highlight?
3. Where is that EqIA published?
4. Which LGBT organisations were consulted in the development of the training?
5. Outside of its initial foundation training, how else does the Home Office ensure that case owners do not bring their personal prejudices into play when deciding whether an application is credible or not?

B. Equality monitoring of applications for asylum

6. What statistical records does the Home Office keep of asylum applications made by applicants fleeing sexual-orientation and gender-identity based persecution?
7. Where can these be accessed?
8. If no such records are kept, how does the Home Office demonstrate it has given due regard, in its decision making processes, to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and foster good relations between the many groups of people which comprise our diverse population, in line with its public sector equality duty?

Yours faithfully,

Rebecca Shaw

FOI Requests, Home Office

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We aim to provide a response to all FOI requests within 20 working days.

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Thank you.

 

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Freedom Of Information Team ( IND ), Home Office

Dear Rebecca Shaw

Thank you for your recent e mail – as below. We are dealing with your enquiry and will respond in due course.

Regards

Information Access Team
Home Office

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Dear Freedom Of Information Team ( IND ),

I refer to my request dated 29 July 2013. I do not appear to have received a substantive answer and would be grateful if you could expedite matters.

Yours sincerely,

Rebecca Shaw

Freedom Of Information Team ( IND ), Home Office

Thank you for contacting the UK Border Agency Freedom of Information Team.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to any
recorded information held by public authorities
If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 24 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act.

The Act does not give people access to their own personal data
(information about themselves). If you require information that a public
authority holds about you, you must make a Subject Access Request under
the Data Protection Act 1998. You can find further details on how to do
make a Subject Access Request by following the link below:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/naviga...

We are unable to respond to other types of immigration enquiries or
general correspondence. For further information please visit our
comprehensive website at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Freedom of Information Act Policy Team
UK Border Agency

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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Dear Freedom Of Information Team ( IND ),

Despite my reminder in August, I am still waiting for a substantive response to my original request. This matter is substantially overdue; in law I was entitled to expect a response by 27 August. I would be grateful if you could investigate the cause of the delay and report back to me.

If you anticipate yet further delay, I would welcome an indication as to when I might expect an answer to my question.

Yours sincerely,

Rebecca Shaw

Freedom Of Information Team ( IND ), Home Office

Thank you for contacting the UK Border Agency Freedom of Information Team.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to any
recorded information held by public authorities
If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 24 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act.

The Act does not give people access to their own personal data
(information about themselves). If you require information that a public
authority holds about you, you must make a Subject Access Request under
the Data Protection Act 1998. You can find further details on how to do
make a Subject Access Request by following the link below:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/naviga...

We are unable to respond to other types of immigration enquiries or
general correspondence. For further information please visit our
comprehensive website at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Freedom of Information Act Policy Team
UK Border Agency

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

FOI Requests, Home Office

Rebecca

Thank you for contacting the Home Office. In regards to your email of 26th September 2013, we will be treating your request as a Time Complaint under reference 28349. Under the laws of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Home Office has until 24th October 2013 to respond to your request.

The Time Complaint will be carried out by R.Patel. Please feel free to contact us if you do not hear from us after the deadline date.

S. Adams
FOI TEAM
Information Services Centre
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

E - [Home Office request email]

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Patel Reshma (IMS), Home Office

1 Atodiad

Dear Ms Shaw,

 

Please find attached response for your time complaint.

 

Regards

Reshma Patel

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Pedlow Paul, Home Office

1 Atodiad

Dear Rebecca Shaw

 

FOI request reference 28349

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request of 29 July 2013 in which
you requested information on the sexual orientation component of the
Foundation Training Programme and on equality monitoring of asylum
applications.  Please accept our apologies for the delay in our
responding.  A response is now attached for you.

 

Best regards

Paul  Pedlow

 

Children, Families and Gender Team,

Operational Policy and Rules Unit, Immigration and Border Policy
Directorate

Tel: 020 8196 0757 E mail: [email address]

 

 

Many thanks and best regards

Paul 

 

Paul Pedlow              

Policy Officer

Children, Families and Gender Team

Operational Policy and Rules Unit, Immigration and Border Policy
Directorate

Lunar House, 14th Floor

Wellesley Road

Croydon CR9 2BY

Tel: 020 8196 0757      E mail: [1][email address]

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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