Belgium: Council of Alien Law Litigation ruling in case of LGBT aged-out unaccompanied minor from Morocco

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

On 24 April, the Belgian Council of Alien Law Litigation (CALL) ruled in the asylum case of an aged-out unaccompanied minor from Morocco who claimed persecution due to his sexual orientation.

The Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless (CGRS) rejected his asylum application as it was not convinced of the credibility of the applicant’s sexual orientation nor the relationships he claimed to have had with men. It further found that this was not a sufficient reason to flee Morocco.

In the refusal, the CGRS noted that the applicant failed to give a spontaneous, detailed and exhaustive explanation of the risks and threats he faced in Morocco. It highlighted his immature personality and the superficial nature of his arguments by holding that he was using social stereotypes, such as that related to the “feminine character of a gay man”. The CGRS also commented on the fact that he had not shown his own personal path in realizing his sexual preferences. It remarked that to be credible, he should have explained the feelings he had when in contact with men.

In reviewing the case, the CALL held that the applicant's young age when the alleged facts took place and when he lodged the asylum application should be considered in the examination of the case. It also observed that the discovery of homosexuality by a teenager is "a complex process difficult to explain" and highlighted that at 18 years old, his sexual identity was still under construction. Furthermore, it found that the CGRS did not fully assess the applicant’s explanations.

The CALL noted that in Morocco, members of the LGBT community face an extremely hostile environment and that the legal framework is repressive. It stated that there was a need to be prudent when analysing asylum applications from Moroccan nationals in such situations and held that such applicants must be given the benefit of the doubt. It added that particular attention should be paid to the potential risks the applicant would face if returned. In the instant case, it found that the applicant faced threats from his family due to his sexual orientation and that there was no protection available from Moroccan authorities.

The Council ruled that the applicant´s allegations were consistent and the threats he faced were well founded. Considering the mistreatment he suffered there, it concluded that he belonged to the particular social group of LGBT persons in Morocco. In recognizing the inadequate protection that the applicant would get from the Moroccan authorities, it granted him refugee status.

Thank you to Cécile Ghymers, member of the ELENA Network Belgium for bringing our attention to this case. Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.




Credibility assessment
Individual assessment
Persecution Grounds/Reasons
Sexual orientation