Twenty-six member states have explicitly recognised in their national legislation that sexual orientation is included in the notion of “membership of a particular social group” (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden). In the other member states there is no explicit mention in their legislation. There are, however, at least seven other member states which, even in the absence of such explicit recognition, have had asylum claims in which sexual orienta- tion has been recognised as a ground for persecution (Denmark, Greece Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom) evidenced by decisions of national competent bodies in these countries.
In the other 12 member states which are parties to the 1951 Convention there is no explicit recognition of persecution on the basis of sexual orientation as a valid ground for asylum claims either in legislation or in actual successful cases filed by LGBT asylum seekers (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, the Russian Federation, Serbia and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”).
*Read also: Groundbreaking Council of Europe report issues ‘red cards’ to many member states, incl. Armenia, for failing gay rights
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