No5 Chambers’ Barrister S Chelvan has returned from Stockholm, having been invited as a guest speaker to deliver specialist LGBT+ asylum refresher training to decision-makers of the Migrationsverket (the Swedish Migration Board).

Following the endorsement of Chelvan’s Difference, Stigma, Shame and Harm (‘DSSH’) model by the UNHCR in 2012, as a tool to positively determine an LGBT+ asylum claim, the Swedish Migration Board first invited Chelvan to provide training in November 2013, describing the training as “turning the chapter” for Swedish decision-making.    The model is now endorsed and used globally by the UNHCR, IOM, EASO, IARLJ, various governments including the UK, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the Czech and Slovak Republics, as well as various NGOs including the Kaleidoscope Trust in Australia and the Irish Refugee Council.

Chelvan spent two days in Stockholm this week providing re-fresher training to nearly 60 decision-makers, including Specialist Caseworkers and managers, concentrating on specific areas within the model where difficulty had arisen mainly due to Swedish cultural norms.

Helene Hedebris, Senior legal expert of the Mirationsverket said of Chelvan’s training “I  spoke with many participants and they were so enthusiastic to get back at the Office and try to enhance the quality of the interviews by using your method.  Even the ones that heard you four years ago were pleased to hear your presentation again and to be given clarification and enlightenment for the most important parts in the method.  They have now been given an improved tool to strengthen the legal quality and the rights of the lgbt asylum seeker.”

Chelvan was recently short-listed for the United Nations Independent Expert for the prevention of violence and discrimination based on sexual-orientation and gender identity.  The Consultative Group of the UN Human Rights Council short-listed only six candidates for interview, recognising their international standing as experts in the field of sexual-orientation and gender identity international human rights.  Chelvan was the only domiciled British citizen to be short-listed.

Chelvan has been invited by UNHCR Ireland to provide LGBT asylum training to all primary decision-makers in Eire from 14-15 December.  He will then be returning to Dublin in January 2018 to provide training to Irish Judges.