The Netherlands

Read about LGBTI asylum in The Netherlands here...

Dutch asylum policy explicitly includes persecution for reasons of sexual orientation as grounds for granting asylum . Criminalization of homosexuality in the country of origin is not sufficient grounds for asylum. It is not expected to invoke the protection of the authorities when homosexuality or homosexual acts are penalized in the country of origin .

The Netherlands will provide subsidiary protection to those who are not being prosecuted but face the grave threat of torture or degrading treatment , in application of article 3 ECHR. Furthermore, Dutch ministers have discretion to give protection when they deem it would result in "exceptionally severe consequences. " However, they seldom use this possibility.

People with a homosexual preference are not expected to hide this preference upon return. If the asylum seeker is not really homosexual, but it is credible that he or she is considered as such by the authorities and it is plausible that persecution has taken or will take place, the asylum seeker will be considered a refugee under the Convention. Although it is not explicitly mentioned in the policy rules, transgender asylum seekers are also considered as a social group under the Refugee Convention.

In 2005 a moratorium on deportation of LGBT Iranians whose applications were rejected was implemented; since October 2006, LGBT asylum seekers from Iran are granted asylum status.

Unmarried partners are recognized as family members for purposes of asylum .

Find more LGBTI country information on The Netherlands in our Country-by-Country section


General on asylum in an EU member state

Under Council Directive 2004/83/EC, Apr. 29, 2004 (the “Qualification Directive” or “Directive”) sexual orientation may, depending on the circumstances of the country of origin, provide the basis for a claim for asylum based on persecution based on membership of a particular social group. As of 2008, no Member “ha[d] explicitly refused to consider sexual orientation as a source of persecution for the purposes of granting refugee status.” As of 2009, there was data available to confirm (page 84) that “asylum ha[d] been granted to LGBT persons in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. The asylum policies of the countries discussed here (page 96) must also all conform to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Optional Protocol, as well as the European Charter of Human Rights. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has made it clear that LGBT individuals are members of a particular social group. The Council of Europe concurs in this interpretation. According to the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union’s Protocol on asylum for nationals of Member States of the European Union, Member States of the EU shall be regarded as constituting safe countries of origin in respect of each other for all legal and practical purposes in relation to asylum matters . Accordingly, any application for asylum made by a national of a Member State are normally not taken into consideration.

Share |

Stay informed
For media
You are here: Home > Issues we work on > Asylum in Europe > Asylum Country-by-Country > The Netherlands