Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration (ORAM). “Country of Origin Report: Sexual and Gender Minorities Uganda.” San Francisco: Organisation for Refuge, Asylum and Migration, 2014.

  • Category: Reports
  • Source: NGOs
  • Subject: Deportation,Trans woman,Gender non-conforming,Asylum/Refugee,Bisexual,Discrimination,Documentation status,Gay,Gender Identity,Homophobia,Homosexuality,Intersex,Law/Legistation,Lesbian,Religion,Refugee Camp,Resettlement,UNHCR,Sex work,Sexual Orientation,Transgender,Transphobia,Violence
  • Place: Uganda
  • Year: 2014
  • File: Countryoforigin_report_0.pdf
Country of Origin (COI) reports are an essential tool in asylum adjudication procedures. The reports are used for assessing a triptych of elements in asylum claims: individual risk of persecution; an applicant’s credibility; and the availability of state protection. Thus, ORAM’s Uganda COI Report is intended to help adjudicators and protection experts assess asylum claims by contextualizing personal stories of persecution. Evidentiary concerns affect all COI reports. For instance, research sources may be regarded as superficial or biased, whereby the information portrayed may lead to a vague and generalized conceptualization of daily circumstances in foreign countries. Moreover, the data available is often fragmentary, and in cases where no official documentation exists, lack of evidence may be mistaken for absence of persecution. As sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) are still taboo topics in many countries, such evidentiary concerns are often exacerbated in COI’s SOGI-related information. Building on its extensive research and training experience within the refugee field, ORAM has identified that a more nuanced and culturally sensitive conceptualization of sexual orientation and gender identity in COI reports could lead to a more accurate adjudication of asylum claims of this nature. Most importantly, as “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual,” “transgender,” and “intersex” (LGBTI) are terms largely absent from non-Western lexicons, ORAM’s Uganda COI Report utilizes the concept of sexual and gender nonconformity (SGN) in the asylum adjudication context. This term encapsulates a more inclusive understanding of identity, one that is based on asylum seekers and refugees’ own narratives. This nuanced perception informed the structure and research methodology of ORAM’s Uganda COI report. We hope that this report will become part of a growing library of specialized tools readily available to refugee professionals, as well as to those fleeing persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.