UNHCR has long recognized the special protection needs of women and girls in refugee and asylum procedures. UNHCR has developed authoritative commentary on determining refugee status with specific consideration of gender.
UNHCR has developed the following summary, which explains UNHCR’s views on gender-based asylum claims, which a focus on the “particular social group” ground for seeking asylum, as relevant to pursuing asylum claims in the U.S.
On March 10, UNHCR, CGRS, and Tahirih Justice Center co-hosted a training on Representing Women from Central America: Leveraging International Law to Strengthen Asylum Claims.
- Guidelines on International Protection: Gender-Related Persecution within the context of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (providing legal guidance on the interpretation of the refugee definition from a gender perspective, and offering procedural practices for ensuring that full consideration is given to women claimants in refugee status determination procedures)
- UNHCR Report, Women on the Run: First-Hand Accounts of Refugees Fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico (2015) (examining why women are fleeing the Northern Triangle of Central America and Mexico in search of protection)
- Guidelines on the Protection of Refugee Women (offering guidance for identifying the specific protection issues, problems and risks facing refugee women)
- Matter of A-R-C-G- et al, Amicus Curiae Brief, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Support of Respondents (articulating UNHCR's view that domestic violence perpetrated against women may constitute persecution for reason of membership in a particular social group)
- Matter of Rodi Alvarado Peña, Advisory Opinion on International Norms: Gender-Related Persecution and Relevance to “Membership of a Particular Social Group” and “Political Opinion” (articulating UNHCR's view that women who are fleeing gender-related persecution, particularly in the form of domestic violence, can fall within the refugee definition based on political opinion or membership in a particular social group)
NTCA and Mexico Country Conditions Reports
Country conditions reports should be submitted with the asylum application. Such reports provide the adjudicator with background information about the human rights situation in the applicant’s country of origin or last habitual residence.
- Center for Gender and Refugee Studies: Resources
- NIJC: Useful Documents for Attorneys Representing Asylum Seekers
- AILA: Helping Those Released from Family Detention: Asylum Options for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence (2016)
- HealthRight International Human Rights Clinic (providing forensic psychological, medical, and gynecological evaluations for survivors of torture and other human rights abuses for use in immigration proceedings)