Monday, 14 February 2011

Czechs asked again to end 'phallometric testing' of gay asylum seekers

Source: ORAM 

The Organisation for Refuge, Asylum and Migration (ORAM) has sent a letter to the Czech Minister of the Interior, Hon Radek John, demanding that the Czech Republic definitively end its practice of phallometric testing.  The letter was co-signed by two Czech asylum organizations, the Association for Integration and Migration (Sdružení pro integraci a migraci) and the OPU (Organizace pro pomoc uprchlíkům) and is attached to ORAM's extensive report on the practice.

The Czech government responded to criticism of the procedure by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency in December, but stated it will continue making the test available to those who request it. ORAM and the Czech organisations fear that those who decline to request the test could be denied refugee protection, and that desperate asylum seekers will “opt” for the procedure in the attempt to avoid being deported to countries where they fear persecution.

The letter asks that the Czech government abolish the practice altogether and explore alternatives to ascertaining sexual orientation such as sensitive interviewing techniques. ORAM has worked with UNHCR on developing such techniques and the letter offers the Czechs, the only government known to use phallometric testing, the benefit of their experience.
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