Sexual Orientation and Refugee Status Determination over the Past 20 years: Unsteady Progress through Standard Sequences?

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Fleeing Homophobia: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Asylum, 2013, 1, pp. 32 - 54
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In this chapter, I sketch a framework for analysis of sexual orientation based asylum claims that aims to accommodate Doth common themes and divergent ourcomes (Jansen and Spijkerboer 2011: 14; O'Dwyer 2008; and more generally Ramji-Nogales et al. 2009) across the range of jurisdicrions grappling with these issues to date. I take as my starting point Kees Waaldijk's work from the late 1990s, in which he claimed a discernible trend of 'steady progress' through 'standard sequences' in the development of sexual orientation rights across the European Union in the last third of the twentieth century (Waaldijk 2001b). Waaldijk suggested that within these trends there were two 'laws' or preconditions to reform, which he titled the 'law of small change' and the 'law of symbolic preparation'. I suggest that progress in sexuality rights in refugee status determination (RSD) has in fact been rather tlnsteady, with significant informal resistance springing up to take the place of doctrinal obstacles as these are dismantled.
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