Toronto Metropolitan University
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Interpreting the other other : assessing refugee claims based on sexual orientation in an anti-refugee climate

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posted on 2021-06-08, 07:51 authored by Shawn J Dicks
This paper investigates some of the challenges in the Canadian refugee determination system facing the fair assessment of refugee claims based on sexual orientation. Relying on the United Nation's Convention definition of refugee, Canada interprets the section "membership of a particular social group," to apply to individuals fearing persecution due to their sexual orientation. This paper reveals the complex nature of refugee determination in cases based on sexual orientation and how decision-makers' Eurocentric conceptions of sexuality, race, gender and nationality, as well as a general anti-refugee climate impede the neutrality of assessment. Relying on personal narratives of those involved with the refugee assessment process, such as past refugee claimants and refugee lawyers, this study reveals the complexity of problems that are inherent in the IRB. Incorporating a critical race perspective allows us to see the damaging effects of Eurocentrism when evaluating multiple identities, such as racialized sexual minorities.





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP