Blog 9: Top EU court ruling backs gay African asylum bids
The top EU court ruled that homosexuals from Sierra Leone, Uganda and Senegal have grounds for asylum in EU member states if they fear imprisonment in their home country. The Netherlands asked the court for advice on three gay citizens of those countries seeking asylum. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said asylum can be granted in cases where people are actually jailed for homosexuality in their home country. This ruling applied to all of the EU members. In most African countries, including key Western allies such as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, and Botswana homosexual acts are illegal. The ECJ ruling was a response to the Dutch Council of State, in which had asked if homosexuals could be considered a “particular social group” and whether criminalization and possible imprisonment amounted to persecution. According to the ECJ, which is based in Luxembourg, the laws specifically targeting homosexuals do make them a separate group. Unfortunately it is up to the national authorities-as in the case of the Netherlands- to determine “whether, in the applicant’s country of the origin, the term of imprisonment… is applied in practice.” The ECJ also says that the just because the existence of a ban on homosexuality is not grounds in itself for approving an asylum request. Under international law a particular social group with a well-founded fear of persecution can claim refugee status if the persecution amounts to a severe violation of human rights.
This article shows just how far we haven’t come for homosexuals. While in some countries like the United States, which has a more openness to homosexuality. In other countries they are not so open to the idea of homosexuals. One would think that we would be far past this separation of certain people just because of something that is different than others. These people have a human right to like and be with whomever they chose. This law is a violation of human rights in the fact that they can be put in jail just for being homosexual. In a world were we have evolved over the years, we might think that we wouldn’t punish people for being something that they are. Around the world there are more than 76 countries in which homosexuality is illegal. (76crimes.com) Most of these countries are in Africa. By this time and age one would start to think that we would be past this, and able to accept people no matter what they are or how they think or feel.
Erasing 76 Crimes: http://76crimes.com/76-countries-where-homosexuality-is-illegal/