Research Handbook on International Refugee Law
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Research Handbook on International Refugee Law

Edited by Satvinder Singh Juss

In an age of ethnic nationalism and anti-immigrant rhetoric, the study of refugees can help develop a new outlook on social justice, just as the post-war international order ends. The global financial crisis, the rise of populist leaders like Trump, Putin, and Erdogan, not to mention the arrival of anti-EU parties, raises the need to interrogate the refugee, migrant, citizen, stateless, legal, and illegal as concepts. This insightful Research Handbook is a timely contribution to that debate.
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Chapter 19: The rights of women seeking asylum: procedural and evidential barriers to protection

Nora Honkala


The rights of women seeking asylum is still much over-looked as a whole in refugee law and practice, women may be persecuted for the same reasons as men, for instance because of their religion or ethnic background, but their persecution is more likely to include sexual violence or rape. This is taken up in this chapter which examines some of the procedural and evidential barriers to the protection of the rights of asylum seeker women within the refugee determination context in the UK. It begins by first outlining some of the practical barriers to gender-sensitive interview procedures and discusses some of the obstacles to being heard at the asylum screening and interview. Secondly, focusing on the nature of gender-based persecution, the specific issues relating to trauma, memory and disclosure are discussed. The third section focuses on the challenge of lack of country specific knowledge and information relating to gender issues before outlining the challenges of the problematic approaches to credibility in many women’s cases.

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