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Transgender receives Asylum status in Denmark for the first time

January 2014, 22
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Asylum status in Denmark
A transgender woman from Guatemala has become the first person to enter Denmark as an asylum seeker because of her transgender status. If she stayed in her own country she feared that she would face persecution for the way she lived her life and so sought refuge in Denmark. The reason she felt this would be the case is because on a daily basis she would get attacked and threatened in her own country whilst trying to campaign for equality.

This is not the first time that the women applied for asylum in Denmark, she applied and was refused the previous year, she was set to be deported but her case was reopened as documentation was issued that proved her life would be in severe danger if she did return to her country of birth because she was a transgender women. Her status was not accepted in Guatemala. The “T-refugee project” that helped in this case did express their relief and pleasure in the case being re heard and asylum being granted but also stated that she should never have been required to experience such a lengthy proceeding. She was granted asylum just three days before she was due to fly out to a country she feared.

With this case being brought to light and highlighting different factors in asylum cases, it has now been announced that factors such as transgender persecution as well as other sexuality factors will be taken into account for asylum cases. This is a giant leap forward for immigration and asylum, many people around the world suffer daily from persecution all because of how they wish to live their lives. Having a threat of death hang over them because of this is a human rights breach and so asylum should be given in cases such as this.

Over the last twenty years there has not been very many transgender asylum seekers making an application for asylum and those that were, were rejected. After the recent ruling it opens up a whole new chapter for immigration and asylum rights, especially for transgender people. More options are now available and they can find safety in other countries and do not have to face daily persecution any more. Help is there and is available. Denmark is one of the most liberal open minded countries in the world, it is hardly surprising  they understand the importance of transgender issues.

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