Gender Asylum Guidelines

Gender-related asylum claims may concern harms directed solely or nearly exclusively at a particular gender (such as female genital cutting) or harms inflicted because of gender (such as repressive social norms that restrict women’s freedom). Gender-based harms are often inflicted by private individuals rather than governmental actors, but these harms are often encouraged, tolerated, or ignored by governments. 

Because gender-based refugee claims, including those based on sexual orientation and gender identity, differ from traditional asylum claims, they have historically faced significant challenges.  In recognition of these challenges, UNHCR and state parties to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its protocol, including the United States, have developed guidelines and training materials for adjudicators considering claims for protection from gender-related persecution. The guidelines explain, for example, the importance of considering legal and social norms as well as the ability and willingness of a state to control such gender-based violence to understand gender-based motivations for harm.

United States

Gender

LGBT

UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Gender

LGBT

​Foreign Jurisdictions