No One to Bear Witness: Country Information and LGBTQ Asylum Seekers


  • Douglas McDonald-Norman Independent



LGBTQ refugees, asylum seekers, refugee status determination, country information, credibility assessments, intersectionality, MD India CG, case study


This article examines the use of country information in determining claims for refugee status based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Limitations to country information remove diverse individual experiences from the “historical record” and obstruct marginalized individuals’ ability to prove their claims for protection. Discrimination and marginalization may be echoed and perpetuated within country information itself, which privileges certain voices over others. MD (same-sex-oriented males: risk) India CG [2014], the United Kingdom’s current “country guidance” decision on claims for protection by same-sex oriented men from India, is examined in light of these themes.


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Author Biography

Douglas McDonald-Norman, Independent

Douglas McDonald-Norman is research assistant to the Hon. Dyson Heydon, QC (former justice of the High Court of Australia) and a former solicitor with Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers. The author may be contacted at douglas.



How to Cite

McDonald-Norman, D. (2017). No One to Bear Witness: Country Information and LGBTQ Asylum Seekers. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 33(2), 88–100.

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