Speaker: Marta D’Epifanio
Date: November 16, 2011
Time: 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Place: Dolapdere Campus, Cinema Hall
LGBTI individuals are discriminated in different ways and to a different extent in many societies. So far there is no country where LGBTI individuals enjoy the same rights as heterosexual citizens.
Homophobia, criminalization of same-sex activity, and targeted violence force LGBTI individuals worldwide to flee their homelands for safer havens, often to again encounter discrimination. Thus, LGBTI migrants live in a situation of double marginality, both at the margins of society as LGBTI and of local LGBTI communities as migrants.
In the last two decades, a lively international debate brought the option of seeking asylum on sexual orientation and gender identity in the 1951 Convention on the ground of membership to a particular social group. The process of recognition of such claim, however, met several hindrances. At first, the debate focused on whether a claim on SOGI grounds could be legitimately included in the particular social group. Secondly, another issue was brought up in connection to the ‘voluntarity’ of the aspect of sexual orientation and the possibility of living discreetly. The enforcement of discriminatory laws and attitudes against LGBTI individuals is thus recognized; with regards to international refugee law, the matter is in what extent it amounts to persecution.
In this context, the presentation will focus on the emerging issue of credibility assessment in Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedure. It will be discussed how international refugee law regime impacts on the RSD procedure, with a closer look at the situation in Turkey.
The seminar organized by İstanbul Bilgi University Center for Migration Research will be held in English.
Marta D’Epifanio, born in Italy, studied History of Art at the University of Rome "La Sapienza". In 2011, she graduated from the MA program in International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University with the dissertation titled “Credibility Issues of LGBTI Asylum-Seekers in the Refugee Status Determination”. She worked as volunteer both at the Helsinki Citizens Assembly Association and LAMBDA in Istanbul.
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