The World Organization for Human Rights USA has recently published a Guide to Establishing the Asylum Eligibility of Victims of Human Trafficking and Forced Marriage. Even a cursory review of the new guide reveals that it will be an important new resource for attorneys and others who represent people seeking asylum on the basis of gender persecution. From the World Organization for Human Rights USA website:
Human trafficking – as well as forced marriage, often a form of trafficking – is indisputably recognized around the world as an egregious human rights abuse, and many victims of this abuse fear that they cannot safely return to their home countries after escaping. Increasingly, courts around the world are concluding that victims of trafficking and forced marriage are eligible for refugee protection. While some U.S. immigration judges and asylum officers have also recognized this principle, there is not a large body of binding U.S. precedent specifically addressing trafficking or forced marriage. But with a targeted litigation strategy, attorneys can convince more and more adjudicators to recognize what is becoming firmly established in international law.
The guide is designed to assist attorneys in crafting arguments and writing briefs to support their clients’ asylum applications based on trafficking and/or forced marriage.
I’ve litigated a few cases like this, and they can be tough. Although both human trafficking and forced marriage are types of persecution, they do not easily fit into the protected grounds set forth in asylum law. I suppose that was once true for persecution based on female genital mutilation and sexual orientation, but now, persecution based on those grounds may form the basis for an asylum claim. Hopefully, the new guide will help establish trafficking and domestic violence as basis for asylum, so that people fleeing such persecution can gain protection in the United States.
Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.
Jason Dzubow's practice focuses on immigration law, asylum, and appellate litigation. Mr. Dzubow is admitted to practice law in the federal and state courts of Washington, DC and Maryland, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Eleventh, and DC Circuits, all Immigration Courts in the United States, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Capital Area Immigrant Rights (CAIR) Coalition. In June 2009, CAIR Coalition honored Mr. Dzubow for his Outstanding Commitment to Defending the Rights and Dignity of Detained Immigrants.