European Union rules in favor of asylum claims rooted in gender-based violence
Monday, January 22, 2024 11:50 AM

The European Union is realizing its obligations under the Istanbul Convention, which it ratified in June 2023, by reading its asylum legislation with sensitivity to experiences with gender-based violence. 

A Turkish woman sought protection in Bulgaria because her family forced her to marry and her husband subjected her to domestic violence. She tried to claim asylum out of fear for her life if she were to go back to Turkey, but Bulgaria denied her request to initiate the process for her international protection. She took her case to the European Court of Justice, which ruled in her favor. The Court found that women can be considered a particular social group for the purposes of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its regional parallel in the EU’s Qualification Standards, and that they may be granted protection due to their experience with gender-based violence.

Source: Lucia Schulten, “EU court rules gender-based violence ground for asylum,” DW, Jan. 17, 2024.

Original case: WS v Intervyuirasht organ na Darzhavna agentsia za bezhantsite pri Ministerskia savet (Cā€‘621/21), E.C.J. (Jan. 16, 2024).