Gender and Asylum: Reforming U.S. Law; and Recognizing the Difficulty of Internal Relocation for Women

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On the topic of the intersection of gender and refugee law, two recent (admittedly unrelated) reports caught my eye.  The first:  Human Rights First released “How to Repair the U.S. Asylum System:  Blueprint for the Next Administration.” Among the several excellent suggestions in this blueprint is to “recognize gender-based persecution as a ground for asylum,” and more specifically, to “[d]irect DHS and DOJ to promulgate joint regulations  that make clear that women persecuted on account  of their gender are eligible for asylum.” Such reform is needed.  Hat tip Refblog Asylum Update.

The second item:  a report from Asylum Aid entitled “Relocation, Relocation:  The impact of internal relocation on women asylum seekers.” Internal relocation (also sometimes called the “internal flight alternative”) is the idea that a person seeking refuge in another country should be required to flee internally, instead, if possible.  As the summary of the report points out:

As women’s asylum and human rights claims are more likely than men’s to be based on non-state persecution, women are disproportionately affected by the principle of internal relocation. This means even if you are recognised as being persecuted and at risk if you return to your home area, you may be told you can relocate to another part of your country. This report discusses the legal application of internal relocation and questions the appropriateness of this principle for women asylum seekers who have experienced gender based persecution.

Hat tip ImmigrationProf Blog.

If you are interested in these issues, the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies is hiring, for a permanent position as well as a summer clerk position.

Cross-posted at Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog.

–Jessica Slavin

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