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Deconstructing Gender in Asylum Categories: An Archival Perspective on a Practice with Limited Access

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European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)


Public authorities make decisions that greatly impact both citizens and non-citizens. Decision-making on asylum, which is regulated by international law but administered by states, in particular is characterised by a higher level of secrecy than other public services. The 1951 Refugee Convention defnes refugeehood as the fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion. Although fear of gender-related persecution was not included as one of the grounds meriting asylum, state practice means that it is today generally recognised as such. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) recommends that states "ensure a gender-sensitive interpretation of the 1951 Refugee Convention." Using natural language processing (NLP) to analyse an open dataset of Danish asylum case summaries, we frst identify fve empirical categories connected to gender in the case summaries: 1) gender-related persecution, 2) LGBT 3) sexual conditions, 4) marital conditions and 5) other gender-related forms of persecution. Secondly, we illustrate the relationship between these gender-related categories and other categories/topics in asylum motives. Finally, we discuss how data science techniques can be applied to better understand complex, cooperative work practices in an area where access for researchers is limited, but archival data is available.


Kaltenhäuser, Kristin; Slaats, Tijs; Gammeltoft-Hansen, Thomas; Holten Møller, Naja (2022): Deconstructing Gender in Asylum Categories: An Archival Perspective on a Practice with Limited Access. Proceedings of 20th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. DOI: 10.48340/ecscw2022_n03. European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET). PISSN: 2510-2591. Notes. Coimbra, Portugal. 27 June - 1 Juli 2022