Title Refugee Appeal No. 76044
Publisher New Zealand: Refugee Status Appeals Authority
Publication Date 11 September 2008
Country New Zealand | Turkey
Topics Blood feuds | Country of origin information (COI) | Internal flight alternative (IFA) / Internal relocation alternative (IRA) / Internal protection alternative (IPA) | Kurd | Persecution based on political opinion | Social group persecution | State protection | Well-founded fear of persecution
Citation / Document Symbol No. 76044
Cite as Refugee Appeal No. 76044, No. 76044, New Zealand: Refugee Status Appeals Authority, 11 September 2008, available at: https://www.refworld.org/cases,NZL_RSAA,48d8a5832.html [accessed 21 September 2021]
Comments The Refugee Status Appeals Authority reaffirmed in this decision New Zealand jurisprudence on the internal protection alternative, holding that even were it free to do so, it would not follow the decisions of the House of Lords in Januzi v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] 2 AC 426 and AH (Sudan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2007] 3 WLR 832 which facilitate the withholding of recognition of refugee status. The Authority emphasized that such withholding of recognition can only occur in a highly limited class of case where (a) the proposed internal protection alternative is accessible to the individual. This requires that the access be practical, safe and legal; (b) in the proposed site of internal protection there is no risk of being persecuted for a Convention reason; (c) in the proposed site of internal protection there are no new risks of being persecuted or of being exposed to other forms of serious harm or of refoulement; and finally, (d) in the proposed site of internal protection basic norms of civil, political and socio-economic rights will be provided by the State. The Authority has also declined to follow the two recent decisions of the High Court of Australia in SZATV v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (2007) 237 ALR 634 and SZFDV v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (2007) 237 ALR 660. In these two decisions the "protection" element of the refugee definition in Article 1A(2) was interpreted as "diplomatic protection".

In this decision, addressing honour killings in Turkey, the Authority also held that the political opinion ground was the most appropriate Convention ground on which the claim succeeded. The Authority has made important observations about gender in the context of the political opinion ground and the need for that ground to receive a gender-sensitive interpretation. It concluded that "honour" enforces rigid control by men over women and their sexuality. It is about policing community norms and codes of behaviour, collective decisions and acts of punishment. Ultimately, it is about the distribution and exercise of power in Turkish society. The observance of honour reflects the gendered inequality of power in that society. In the specific context the Authority was satisfied that the claimant's assertion of her right to life and of her right to control her life and her challenge to inequality and the structures of power which support it, was plainly "political" as that term is used in the Refugee Convention.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.