May has been a month of travel for No5 Chambers Barrister S. Chelvan, providing training across Europe, on his DSSH (Difference, Stigma, Shame and Harm) model for credibility assessment in LGBTI asylum claims. 

From the 5th to 7th May, Chelvan provided training in Madrid to over 100 delegates from NGOs as part of the CREDO project, co-organised by the ELENA network and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

On the 15th of May, Chelvan was a guest of the Aditus Foundation who organised a side-event on LGBTI asylum, as part of the IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) events in Malta.  Both LGBTI and Refugee NGOs attended the event, in addition to representatives of UNHCR and EASO (European Asylum Support Organisation). 

On the 19th of May, Chelvan provided training in London on the DSSH model to members of the working group who are conducting a review on the Home Office’s approach to LGBTI asylum claims, for the Independent Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration.  This meeting was to provide the background to the model and why it was essential for the Home Office to adopt DSSH as part of the determination process.

On the 21st of May, Chelvan, as guest of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, then provided training in Budapest to representatives of various European governmental refugee status determination authorities including Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, who provide training on behalf of their national authorities. Both the Finnish and German representatives have indicated that their authorities are looking at adopting the DSSH model.  Chelvan was also able to inform the delegates that he had been informed the night before that the UK’s Home Office were going to refer to the model in their refresher training being delivered this month, to all caseworkers in the UK.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee have also asked Chelvan to draft the Chapter on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the forthcoming second volume on “Credibility Assessment in Asylum Procedures: A Multidisciplinary Training Manual”.  The Chapter on SOGI claims will be based around the DSSH model. Publication date – end of 2014.

Please click here to view S. Chelvan‘s profile.

Photo From Malta:











Photo from Budapest: