Barrister S Chelvan’s DSSH model for LGBTI asylum claims is internationally recognised

Throughout May, No5 Chambers barrister S Chelvan has provided training across Europe on his DSSH (difference, stigma, shame and harm) model for credibility assessment in LGBTI asylum claims.

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

Chelvan was a guest of the Aditus Foundation on 15 May, which organised a side event on LGBTI asylum, as part of the IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) events in Malta. 

On 19 May, he 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.

As a guest of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee on 21 May, Chelvan 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 UK, 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 was going to refer to the model in its refresher training being delivered this month to all caseworkers in the UK.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee has 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.