Japan grants refugee status to woman from Uganda fearing LGBTQ persecution

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04/19/2023

A Ugandan woman was granted refugee status Wednesday following a district court ruling last month ordering the government to do so over fears she could be persecuted for being a lesbian if she were deported to her home country. The move comes after the Immigration Services Agency unveiled its first guidelines last month on eligibility for refugee status, which included sexual minorities. “This would allow me to think about a bright future,” said the woman in her 30s, who is remaining anonymous due to privacy concerns, NHK reported. She received a residency status which allows her to stay in Japan for five years, according to her supporters. Her lawyer, Maya Kawasaki, said a small number of people from countries in Africa are applying for refugee status based on their sexual orientations, as some nations impose harsh regulations on LGBTQ people.

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