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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Bisexuals need not apply: A comparative appraisal of refugee law and policy in Canada, the United States, and Australia

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By Sean Rehaag, Osgoode Hall Law School

This paper offers an analysis of refugee claims on grounds of bisexuality. After discussing the grounds on which sexual minorities may qualify for refugee status under international refugee law, the paper empirically assesses the success rates of bisexual refugee claimants in three major host states: Canada, the United States, and Australia. It concludes that bisexuals are significantly less successful than other sexual minority groups in obtaining refugee status in those countries. Through an examination of selected published decisions involving bisexual refugee claimants, the author identifies two main areas for concern that may partly account for the difficulties that bisexual refugee claimants encounter: the invisibility of bisexuality as a sexual identity, and negative views held by some refugee claims adjudicators towards bisexuality as well as the reluctance of some adjudicators to grant refugee status to sexual minorities who differ from gay and lesbian identities as traditionally understood.

Bisexuals Need Not Apply: A Comparative Appraisal of Refugee Law and Policy in Canada, the United States, a...

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