Executive Summary for January 26th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including an E.U. court ruling against psychological tests for gay asylum seekers, thousands of Congolese fleeing to Uganda and Britain’s use of E.U. migration funds to return asylum seekers.

Published on Jan. 26, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

E.U. Court Bans Psychological Tests for Gay Asylum Seekers

European Union countries cannot force asylum seekers to take psychological tests in order to determine their homosexuality, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled.

The court was considering the case of a Nigerian who claimed asylum in Hungary in 2015, saying he feared persecution for his homosexuality.

On the basis of tests, including drawing a person in the rain and a Rorschach ink-blot test, a Hungarian psychologist concluded the man was not gay and his asylum claim was rejected.

The ECJ noted that the reliability of the tests were disputed. It also ruled that they were a “disproportionate interference in the private life of the asylum seeker.”

The ruling has implications for other E.U. countries that impose tests on gay asylum seekers. The E.U. lacks common guidelines on protecting LGBTQI asylum seekers, which leads to wide disparities in assessment and services.

Thousands of Congolese Pour Into Uganda

Hundreds of people are fleeing the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) every day into Uganda, which is already sheltering some 1 million refugees from South Sudan.

According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, nearly 14,000 Congolese have crossed into the country since December, fleeing a surge in militia attacks.

“When you go to pick your crops, or go to the forest for firewood, if you’re a man, they kill you, and if you are a woman, they’ll rape you. That is why we came here,” Rebecca Salama told Al Jazeera.

There are already 240,000 Congolese refugees in Uganda, whose progressive approach to integrating refugees has been sorely tested by a lack of international funds and the South Sudan crisis.

E.U. Asylum Funds Used For ‘Large-Scale Removal Program’

The E.U.’s asylum, migration and integration fund (AMIF) is disproportionately given to the United Kingdom and used mainly to return rejected asylum seekers, according to a new report.

The 2.39-billion-euro ($2.86 billion) fund is allocated to E.U. countries based on the number of asylum claims, non-E.U. residents and total of returns they conduct.

Despite receiving far fewer asylum claims than frontline countries, the U.K. has received about 16 percent of the fund, followed by Italy at 13 percent, France and Greece around 11 percent, according to a report by the U.N. refugee agency and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (Ecre).

“That the U.K. received the largest allocation under AMIF shows the flaws in the distribution formula and the importance of using up-to-date figures that reflect actual need,” Ecre secretary-general Catherine Woollard told the E.U. Observer.

The funds are meant to support national asylum systems and help integration of refugees, but the U.K. allotted around 60 percent of AMIF funds to returning asylum seekers.

Other member states received emergency assistance on top of the basic allocation under AMIF. But even with those in place, the UK still ranks as the second largest beneficiary after Italy.

“The E.U. is funding a large-scale removal programme, which has led to a harsh and scandal-ridden immigration detention system,” Woollard said. The group called for mandatory portioning of AMIF funds, with 30 percent for integration and 20 percent to asylum systems.

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