Netherlands: Council of State rules that asexual applicants do not fall under the exception for LGBTI people in the application of the “safe country of origin” concept

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

On 21 March 2018, the Dutch Council of State delivered its judgment no. 201703038/1/V1concerning an Algerian national who applied for asylum in the Netherlands on the grounds that he feared being persecuted in his country of origin for being asexual and for refusing to marry his niece. His application was rejected since Algeria is considered a safe country of origin in the Netherlands. On appeal, the District Court of The Hague found in favour of the applicant and ruled that asexual applicants fell under the exception provided for LGBTI applicants in the application of the “safe country of origin” provision. It interpreted that exception as generally relating to social discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, which involves not only “sexual acts” but also deviation from traditional relationships.
The Secretary of State successfully appealed against this decision before the Council of State. The Council of State ruled that asexuality cannot be included in the exception for LGBTI applicants. It took into account the fact that, unlike homosexuality, asexuality is not punishable in Algeria, and that available sources do not show that asexual people face discrimination, violence or oppression there. The Council of State also ruled that the applicant had failed to seek protection from the Algerian authorities against the threats he received for not marrying his niece or on account of his asexuality.
Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.

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Sexual orientation