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All Countries Barbados

2020 RLLR 148

Citation: 2020 RLLR 148
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: February 17, 2020
Panel: D. Willard
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Annie N. O’Dell
Country: Barbados
RPD Number: TB8-29245
Associated RPD Number(s): TB8-29336; TB8-29337; TB8-29338
ATIP Number: A-2021-01105
ATIP Pages: 000057-000065

DECISION

[1]   MEMBER: This is an oral decision in the claims for refugee protection of XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX the File number is TB8-29245, XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX the File number is TB8-29336, XXXX XXXX XXXX TB8-29337 and XXXX XXXX XXXX the File number is TB8-29338.

[2]   The claimant’s are seeking protection in Canada; well the principal claimant is seeking protection in Canada pursuant to Section 96 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act on the basis of her membership in a particular social group that is women who are at risk due to domestic violence and domestic violence in Barbados.

[3]   The claimant indicates that she and the minors are all citizens of Barbados only and of no other country. The panel wishes to note that the written version of these reasons will not be edited for spelling, syntax, grammar and no references to applicable case law.

ALLEGATIONS:

[4]   The details of the claimant’s allegations are found in Exhibit 2.1 before the panel in the basis of claim form narrative and also in the additional narrative at Exhibit 4 which provides an update to the initial narrative.

[5]   In summary the claimant the principal claimant indicates that she was born in Barbados XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX. That she and the minor claimant’s who are her children are all citizens of Barbados only. She states that her sons share a father XXXX XXXX who continues to reside in Barbados and from whom she obtained a letter of consent in order for them to travel to Canada.

[6]   She indicates that her daughter XXXX her father XXXX XXXX(ph) is the individual who the claimant is afraid of in Barbados. She details the nature of her relationship with XXXX (ph) in her narrative.

[7]   To summarize; she indicates that she met him a number of years ago when her eldest son was still quite young. She states that the relationship initially was positive but took a turn for the worst and became a very abusive one.

[8]   She indicates that over the years she’s lived in a variety of different places including with XXXX(ph) father, her mother she’s moved addresses a number of times but that XXXX(ph) has been abusive on a continual basis in a manner of different forms.

[9]   She indicates in her narrative that she tried to seek help from the police on a number of occasions. She indicates that help was not operationally adequate so to speak, it was not forthcoming to her.

[10]   She states that after a number of attempts to try to get help from them she gave up hope, particularly on the last occasion in the fall of 2018 when she had an altercation with XXXX (ph) in which the police were not helpful to her and gave her a solution that she believed would end up in her being charged with assault and being arrested.

[11]   It was at this point that she decided that she could no longer live in Barbados and promptly decided to come to Canada and seek help here. She entered Canada on XXXX XXXX of 2018 with the three minor children and shortly after arriving here filed a claim for refugee protection for herself and on their behalf as well.

DETERMINATION:

[12]   After assessing all of the evidence before me madam I find that you have established on a balance of probabilities that you have a well founded fear of persecution in your country Barbados on the basis of your membership in a particular social group, that is on the basis of your gender and as a woman who fears abuse in Barbados from a partner.

[13]   I find that you have established your identities that is your own and that of the minor claimant’ s on a balance of probabilities. I find as well that you’ve established the credibility of your allegations on a balance, the well foundedness of your fear.

[14]   I find that you’ve also provided a reasonable explanation for your delay in filing your claim here in Canada and that on a balance operational adequate state protection would not be forthcoming to you nor that there would be a viable internal flight alternative for you in Barbados.

[15]   I’m going to turn to my analysis now. First with respect to your personal identities I note madam that you did provide your original passports both for yourself and the minor claimants and I have certified true copies of them before me in Exhibit 1.

[16]   I note that all of the passport copies before me indicate the dates of birth and country’s of citizenship, places of birth that you have alleged.

[17]   I find therefore madam that you have discharged your onus of demonstrating your personal identities as per Section 106 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Rule 11 of the Refugee Protection Division rules. Accordingly I accept that all of you hold the identities that you allege.

[18]   With respect to credibility, madam I found you to be today a very credible witness. You were very straightforward, sincere, detailed, and heartfelt in the statements that you made. You were able to testify in a manner that was very consistent with the narrative that you provided of the events that occurred to you.

[19]   You were consistent with the documentation in Exhibits 2.1 and Exhibit 4. I have insufficient reason to doubt the sincerity and truthfulness of your allegations of abuse at the hands of XXXX XXXX (ph) in Barbados.

[20]   Accordingly I accept your allegations as truthful and in reaching that determination I’ve also been mindful of the documentation that you have provided and your explanation for the Jack of documentation from the police, I note that in Exhibit 6 through your counsel you provided a number of documents.

[21]   You provided the Barbados police medical report, the original of which you gave tome today, you provided a copy of what’s app messages to XXXX XXXX who you dealt with in Barbados, you also provided a print out of recent calls from XXXX(ph), contact information, you provided a number of letters of support from individuals who know about the problems that you’ve endured with XXXX(ph), you also provided a consent letter from XXXX XXXX for the purposes of your travel.

[22]   I note as well that there is a XXXX assessment from XXXX XXXX that I’ve also bore in mind in assessing your evidence today.

[23]   I’ve also madam been mindful of and been guided by chair person’ s Guideline 4 on women fearing gender persecution in their country of origin and I’ve also been mindful of counsel’s outline in her application regarding the, your emotional state and the XXXX symptoms that you are experiencing.

[24]   I find madam that you have established through your evidence and testimony today the credibility of your allegations and accept them as credible on a balance.

[25]   With respect to the delay in filing your claim here in Canada, I did ask you questions today about whether or not you were aware that you could file a claim for protection upon arrival. I note that you indicated that you weren’t aware that you could qualify as a refugee claimant and therefore you were guided by a friend who gave you some advice and told you to seek legal assistance and contact a shelter.

[26]   You described the steps that you took in detail that you contacted XXXX(ph) house, that you needed to apply for legal aid, seek legal assistance, I’ve bore in mind your particular circumstances and also have taken into account the fact that you were here on a valid visa, a valid visitor’s stay when you were seeking legal advice.

[27]   Therefore I find that the delay of approximately a month or two in filing your claim here in Canada is not indicative of a lack of subjective fear. I accept your statements as reasonable and therefore draw no negative inference from the delay which was a rather short one.

[28]   In terms of the well foundedness of your fear, I note that the documentary evidence in particular Item 5.5 indicates that domestic violence continues to be a major problem in Barbados.

[29]   There was a, so Item 5.5 is indexed as BRB105717.E its dated March 3rd of 2017 and it’s includes a survey of six hundred people in Barbados on behalf of Unicef s office for the Eastern Caribbean area and it noted that seventy six percent of respondents indicated that they thought domestic violence remained to be a major problem in Barbados.

[30]   Thirty six percent of respondents had someone close to them experience domestic violence by a spouse or partner. According to Freedom House violence against women remains widespread despite domestic violence laws in the country.

[31]   Moreover it similarly states that the violence, that violence and abuse against women continue to be a significant social problem.

[32]   A 2016 report by Inter American Developmental Bank entitled crime and violence in Barbados states that the recording of statistics related to violence in the home in Barbados is severely limited.

[33]   It goes on to state that information collection on domestic violence is inadequate due to under reporting, under documentation, administrative incapacity and a lack of a appreciation for the use of statistics and the policy formulation and monitoring cycle.

[34]   The Barbados government information service GIS further quotes the acting director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs as stating that the true incidents of domestic violence in Barbados is unknown since it is a crime that is seldom reported.

[35]   I will proceed to discuss in further the legislation and the applicability of the legislation under my state protection analysis but I would note that this document does go on to describe incidents of domestic violence, the prevalence of it in the country and therefore madam I find that your fear is, is a well founded one.

[37]   In particular with respect to the issue of state protection, I note that Item 2.1 the US Department of State report indicates that there is legislation in place to deal with domestic violence and incidents of rape and maltreatment of partners in Barbados.

[38]   I note that Item 2.1 states that the law prohibits domestic violence and provides protection to all members of the family including men and children.

[40]   The law applies equally to marriages and to common law relationships. The law empowers police to make an arrest after receiving a complaint, visiting the premises and having some assurance that a crime was committed and police made numerous arrests for domestic violence, penalties depend on the severity of the charges and range from a fine for first time offenders unless the injury is serious up to the death penalty for cases resulting in death of a victim.

[41]   It states that victims may request restraining orders which the courts often issue. The courts may sentence an offender to jail for breaching such an order. Violence…nevertheless it does go on to state that violence and abuse against women continue to be significant social problems. Police have a victim support unit but reports indicated the services provided were inadequate.

[42]   The same DOS report does state that there were public and private counselling services for victims of domestic violence, rape and child abuse. The government provided funding for a shelter for women who had faced violence, the shelter also served victims of human trafficking and other forms of gender based violence.

[43]   In making its assessment the panel must assess whether or not the state protection in Barbados is operationally adequate. It is not enough to just look at efforts that are being made. The panel must assess whether or not there is an operationally adequate level of protection for you in your country.

[44]   The panel notes that you described in your narrative in detail and again today in testimony the interactions that you had with the police. I note that your statements today were very consistent with the statements you made in your basis of claim form narratives.

[45]   You state that in your interactions with the police the response was not fruitful. You state that in the last incident that you had a male and female police officer come to you and suggest that you throw a pot of boiling water on the agent of persecution as a solution.

[46]   You also state that in your dialogue with a police officer about a restraining order they indicated to you that they would get back to you and nothing further came of it.

[47]   You described as well seeking that charges be pressed against XXXX(ph) in the fall of 2017 and that the police escorted you and him in the same police vehicle wherein he was verbally accosting you for charging him, the matter did go to court, however nothing came of it even though you followed up and tried and did appear at the court.

[48]   You stated today that you sought assistance from three different police stations that you’d gone to the police if you were to estimate more than twenty times, that you tried to call them and seek help from them over a period of a number of years.

[49]   The panel has bore this in mind in reviewing Item 5.5 which is a detailed summary of what is happening on the ground with police efforts in Barbados. I’m going to read out what I have noted from this document.

[50]   It states that in Item 5.5 that the IDP report notes that there has recently been an attempt to improve the inadequacies of data collection on domestic violence. Through the creation of a family conflict intervention unit designed to respond to and record more detailed information on domestic violence.

[51]   The same source adds that the unit was established by the police force in June 2013 and that as a result detailed data on domestic violence is limited only to cases reported from June 2013 onwards. It goes on to state that there were two hundred and twenty cases of domestic abuse reported to the Family Conflict Intervention Unit.

[52]   In November 2016 a Barbadian newspaper The Daily Nation reported that incidents of domestic violence are on the rise noting the police logged four hundred and thirty five reports of domestic violence cases between January 1st and October 31st 2016, a slight increase over four hundred and twenty nine cases reported in 2015.

[53]   The same RIR indicates that there is legislation in place to address marital rape and domestic violence. There are also amendments to the domestic violence protection orders act that was introduced in 2016.

[54]   I note that this item is also, this legislation is also made, there’s a reference made to it in Item 5.6 before the panel.

[55]   The…under the state protection and police segment of this item the panel notes that the following is stated. It adds that victims may request restraining orders which the court often issued and the courts may sentence an offender to jail for breaching such an order.

[56]   According to the IDP report there is no government run shelter in Barbados for victims of domestic violence.

[57]   However sources note that the government provided a subvention to the Business and Professionals Women’s Club of Barbados to run a shelter for abused women which is the only shelter available to abused women in Barbados. According to the IDP report the Barbados government is the shelter’s main source of funding.

[58]   With respect to the police according to Freedom House, police responsiveness is often slow and inadequate in cases of violence against women. Country reports 2015 similarly states that there are several reports that police did not responds promptly or adequately to complaints of sexual assault and domestic violence.

[59]   Barbados today reports that police are reluctant to respond to cases of domestic violence. It indicates that there is a victim support unit within the police force.

[60]   According to the same source this unit consists of civilian volunteers and offers assistance primarily to female victims of violent crimes but reports indicated services provided were inadequate.

[61]   Sources also note the existence of a police family conflict unit. The IDP report explains that this unit was established due to a perceived need to sensitize officers responding to family and domestic violence cases. It reported that police were receiving training on domestic violence.

[62]   With respect to support services there is reference to shelters that offer psychological counsellors, intervention services. Of note is that at the final page of this report it states that there was a crisis center and twenty four hour hotline established as a conduit for the shelter for battered women.

[63]   However the same source states that the walk in crisis center was closed in October 2014 due to a reduction in fonds. There is a service alliance, violent encounters, a non profit organization.

[64]   According to the information before the panel this foundation records and monitors incidents of domestic violence and provides free counselling and legal advice, operates a hotline and tries to raise awareness.

[65]   After assessing all of this information madam and taking into consideration your own personal interaction with the police and authorities in Barbados.

[66]   The panel finds that you testimony which is found to be credible in combination with the information that we have on the adequacy of the enforcement services in Barbados leads the panel to determine that you have in your circumstance discharged the onus of demonstrating with clear and convincing evidence that operationally adequate state protection would not be forthcoming to you.

[67]   In reaching this determination the panel is mindful of the added services that may be present in Barbados. However it is clear that there is an ongoing lack of effectiveness in terms of the services provided by the police in Barbados.

[68]   The panel notes that the reports are consistent with one another in Item 2.1 and Item 5.5 and others that while there are efforts being made the services provided are deemed to be inadequate from the police and that there isn’t always responsiveness on their part.

[69]   Taking this into consideration madam with your own personal interactions with the police I find that you have discharged the onus of demonstrating that operational adequate state protection would not be forthcoming to you in Barbados.

[70]   With respect to an internal flight alternative, I have bore in statement madam your, bore in mind your statement that you know that Barbados is small and that you’ve lived in a different, that you’ve lived in different locations and tried to seek protection from different police stations.

[71]   I note that according to Item 1.3 of the national documentation package Barbados is a very small country. The square kilometers are four hundred and thirty in total. The population is estimated at less than three hundred thousand people as of July 2018.

[72]   Given madam the small size of the country and the ongoing threats being issued to you through various people from XXXX(ph) which demonstrate a clear continued interest and determination to find you, his threat that he will locate you and kill you if you were to return to Barbados.

[73]   I find that you have demonstrated that there would not be a viable internal flight alternative for you that would be safe in Barbados given the small size of the country making it very easy for XXXX(ph) to locate you should you try to relocate throughout the country and his past efforts and abilities to continually find you, harass you and abuse you on an ongoing basis.

[74]   In conclusion I find madam that you have demonstrated that you have established your evidence on a balance of probabilities. I note that you have indicated that your children have also been abused and threatened by him. I find therefore that you have established a well founded fear of persecution on your own behalf but also on their part.

[75]   I finally note as well that you have met the onus of demonstrating that you meet the definition of a Convention refugee.

[76]   That you have established the components of Section 96 and established that there is a serious possibility of persecution for you on the basis of your membership in a particular social group that is on the basis of your gender and as a woman who is fearful of domestic violence, for your children as members of your family as well.

[77]   I therefore find madam that you are all Convention refugees and I accept your claims.

[78]   Thank you. We are concluded.

———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-

Categories
All Countries Barbados

2019 RLLR 136

Citation: 2019 RLLR 136
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: September 12, 2019
Panel: Melinda Gayda
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Adrienne Smith
Country: Barbados
RPD Number: TB8-24140
ATIP Number: A-2021-00256
ATIP Pages: 0000106-000111


DECISION

[1]       MEMBER: This is the decision in the claim for refugee protection of [XXX]. The file number is TB8-24140.

CLAIMANT

[2]       The claimant asked the Member for letting her sister into le hearing room

MEMBER:

[3]       Yes, absolutely. The counsel’s going st- ask your sister to come in.

CLAIMANT:

[4]       Thank you.

[5]       MEMBER: She can be the support person for you. I know it’s a, it’s a big day and it’s a big decision.

[6]       So, you are claiming to be a citizen of Barbados and are claiming refugee protection pursuant to Sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

[7]       I’ve considered your testimony and the other evidence in your claim. And I’m giving you my decision orally. And that is to accept your claim. In assessing your claim, I have applied the Chairperson’s Guidelines. Guideline 9 on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. I find that you are a convention refugee pursuant to Section 96 of the Act on the grounds of your membership in a particular social group as a bi-sexual woman. I find that you would face a serious possibility of persecution in the future if you returned to Barbados.

[8]       Your allegations are set out in detail in your Basis of Claim form. In summary you allege a fear of acts of violence, harassment and hostility as well as pervasive discrimination from the community because of your sexual orientation in, as a bi-sexual woman in the Bahamas, I’m sorry, in Barbados. You allege that if you return to Barbados, you will face stigma, social exclusion and discrimination in many aspects of life and from the community. And this would include verbal insults and possible physical violence. That you could not live openly and freely as a bi-sexual woman in Barbados without experiencing this kind of harassment threats and discrimination.

[9]       You allege that the state authorities such as the police are also homophobic and could not be depended upon to offer you protection in situations where you may be threatened with or experience violence on account of your sexual orientation. And you say that there’s no safe place for you to live anywhere in Barbados.

[10]     Your identity. I find that your personal and national identity as a citizen of Barbados has been established on a balance of probabilities by your testimony as well as the supporting documentation filed in Exhibit I. Mainly the certified true copy of your Barbadian passport that was seized by the Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada officers, when you started your refugee claim.

[11]     The nexus in this case, the link between what you fear and the refugee convention is your membership in a particular social group as a bi-sexual woman. Therefore, I’ve accessed, assessed your claim under Section 96.

[12]     Moving on to your credibility. In terms of your general credibility, I found you to be a credible witness. Your testimony was straight forward and consistent with your Basis of Claim form and other forms. And there were no inconsistencies or omissions that were relevant or went to the core of your claim. You provided spontaneous details of how you came to understand that you were attracted to women. And that you are, and that you came to the understanding that you were bi-sexual. You also provided details of your past same sex relationships and the discriminatory and threatening incidents that you experienced m Barbados. These were details that I would expect of someone who had lived the experiences described.

[13]     For someone as yourself who has grown up in a society such as Barbados wh-,which is the country evidence tells us that being on the LGBT spectrum there is treated with scorn and ridicule and given the strong influence of religion in a small country, being LGBT is often viewed as being sinful. I found your testimony to be credible. You testified without any obvious embellishment and in a fluid immediate way. You also provided corroborating documentation about your sexual orientation. Letters from your friends who knew of your sexual orientation at this moment now in Canada as well as tho-, as well as those who knew you in Barbados as being bi-sexual and for having experienced problems there because of it.

[14]     You also provided, provided letters from your sisters, one sister in Canada who identifies as a lesbian and whose refugee claim was accepted in 2014. And a letter from a sister in Barbados who provided details about your family situation and learning about your sexual orientation and how she has seen the change in you on her visit to Canada. And she’s noted that you were no longer having to hide who you are. And she sees you now as someone who is confident and comfortable with herself.

[15]     You also provided a letter from the youth resource worker at Supporting Our Youth, S-O-Y, SOY that provides the Black Queer Youth program, which you are attending. You also provided photographs of you with past girlfriends in Barbados and you spoke knowledgably and credibly about the circumstances of these photos and your feelings for these women. How it was when you dated them and why you broke up with them.

[16]     You responded with reasonable explanations and plausible details to my questions for you about these corroborating documents. And as I’ve mentioned these documents go to the core aspects of your claim namely your identification as a bi-sexual woman and the fact that you’ve lived in and been in same sex relationships in the past.

[17]     Your sister [XXX] was here and she is here and was willing to testify as a witness on your behalf. However, given your credible testimony and other corroborating evidence, I did not, I determined I didn’t need to hear from her, as I found that you’ve established your core allegations on a balance of probabilities.

[18]     I believe you, that you’ve been attracted to both men and women in the past. And you’ve had intimate relationships with both. I believe that the incident that, what you’ve described as incidents of past harassment, threatened violence and discrimination and you’ve experienced that due to your bi-sexuality and the perception of others in the Barbadian community that you are a bi-sexual.

[19]     You testified that you would like to, bl-, live openly and freely and be free to date both men and women in the future. And that for you it depends on the personality of the person that you meet.  Therefore, I find you’ve established your core allegations of being a bi-sexual woman and fearing persecution in the future in Barbados.

[20]     Moving to subjective fear. I’ve considered that and I find that you’ve established that you’re subjectively fearful of returning to Barbados. Prior to your recent arrival in Canada on [XXX] 2018 and claiming refugee status shortly thereafter, you visited Canada in [XXX] 2017 for approximately 2-3 weeks. And you had came, you came on that trip with your mother, sister and your sister’s friend to visit your sister in Canada, [XXX]. Who now resides here since her refugee claim was accepted in 2014. And then you returned to Barbados on [XXX], 2017.

[21]     I asked you why you returned to Barbados at that time, knowing how you’d had to live there hiding your sexual orientation and knowing how society treated people who were on the LGBT spectrum. And why you didn’t make a refugee claim in Canada when you were here for that first time. You responded that you had travelled with your mother and she was very controlling, protective and strict. You didn’t want to upset her by staying in Canada and you believed that she would possibly blame your sister here, if you remained in Canada.

[22]     You described that your sister’s relationship with your mother was already fairly fragile due to your mother learning that she was a lesbian. And you didn’t want to come out to your mother as you knew that she had already suspected you were gay and had said in the past that she couldn’t deal with having two gay children. This testimony, testimony was consistent with your Basis of Claim form.

[23]     You testified that you went back to Barbados at that time and then you actually slipped into depression again and you didn’t feel like you were supposed to be living there anymore. You dated a man who was physically violent with you, when he learned that you had dated girls in high school and had been outed by classmates for being gay. He told you that he didn’t want to be known as a guy who dated a girl who had dated girls. You spoke with your sister in the spring of 2018 and she encouraged you to come to Canada to be safe and free and make a refugee claim. She offered her financial support for you to make the journey and have a place to stay here. So, you came here in [XXX] 2018 and shortly, and shortly thereafter made your refugee claim.

[24]     I have found your cresti-, testimony to be credible and you returned for, to Barbados from your first visit to Canada before your subsequent return back to Canada to file your refugee claim has been reasonably explained. Therefore, I find you have a subjective, a well-founded subjective fear of persecution in Barbados.

[25]     Moving to the objective basis of your risk of persecution. According to the documentary evidence in the National Documentation Package, Exhibit 3, LGBT persons in Barbados face widespread and social stigma, bullying, discrimination, harassment and at times violence. Particularly within their own families. The Item 2.1 is the United States Depart of States report on human rights practices in Barbados. And for the year 2018, it notes that the law criminalizes consensual same sexual activity in Barbados between adults with penalties up to life imprisonment. And there were not reports though of the law being enforced during the year.

[26]     The law in Barbados does not prohibit discrimination against a person based on real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in areas such as employment, housing, education or health care. Civil society groups reported that LGBT persons faced discrimination in these areas in Barbados and that police disapproval and societal discrimination against LGBT persons made them more vulnerable to threats, crime and destruction of property.

[27]     Now, the Federal Court has held and it’s set out in the SOGIE guidelines, in particular, paragraph 8.5.1.1, that being forced to conceal ones sexual orientation to avoid harm is, is itself persecutory as it constitutes a serious interference with a fundamental human right. Many LGBT persons in Barbados are unfortunately forced to conceal their sexual orientation to avoid societal discrimination, widested-, widespread stigma, bullying and harassment, as well at times violence. I find that you would, you, that if you were forced to do this as well, that such expectation interferes with your fundamental human rights. Therefore, I find your allegations to be objectively well-founded.

[28]     Moving to state protection. I find that you have rebutted the presumption of state protection with clear and convincing evidence, that adequate state protection would not be available to you were you to seek it in Barbados. You testified that in your view, based on what you had heard in the media and from others in the community that the police were very homophobic in Barbados and that they have a reputation for turning a blind eye when gay people need help.

[29]     The objective documentary evidence in our National Documentation Package at Item 6.1 a response to information request.  Indicates that most members of the LGBT community do not report matters to the police out of fear of negative repercussions or facing ridicule and that LGBT individuals in Barbados have faced condemnation by police officers. And a UN report from 6 years ago as noted in that RIR, response to information request from 2012, noting that police were denounced as discriminatory by, in this UN report, in their treatment of victims who are from the LGBT community. In Barbados as I’ve already noted, same sex relations continue to be criminalized and while not prosecutions appear to have occurred under the law for quite a number of years, I find that having such a law further legitim- legitimizes discriminatory and oppressive treatment towards LGBT individuals.

[30]     Also, there’s some documentary evidence that indicates the state of Barbados does not have laws in place that prohibit this, that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. That’s found in Item 2.1, page 9, as well as Item 6.2 a report entitled Criminalization of Homosexuality a report from March 2019 page 4. It is reported that it is common for LGBT persons to face discrimination in housing and employment. Therefore, I find the state fuels and allows discrimination to be accepted by such laws that criminalizes same sex, she-, same sex activity as well not having laws in place to prohibit discrimination on the basis of one’s sexual orientation.

[31]     Your experiences in Barbados are consistent with this evidence. You faced homophobic remarks from a past, past employer and also bullying and threatening behaviour from other students while attending school. You felt you could not go to the school administration because you were fearful they would tell your parents but also because the school admiss-, administration you did not feel would, would offer you any assistance. This is found in the documentary evidence that there’s no human rights or anti-discrimin-, discrimination laws or processes in place that you could have turned to. You felt demeaned and that you had to hide who you were to be safe and not face harm.

[32]     In light of this evidence, I find you’ve rebutted the presumption of state protection based on your personal circumstances as well as the objective country documentation. I find that adequate state protection would not be available to you in Barbados. I’ve considered whether a viable internal flight alternative exists for you in Barbados. Barbados is a very small country and there’s no evidence that the societal, discriminatory and homophobic attitudes are localized or that there would be any place where you could live openly and safely as a bisexual woman without experiencing such discrimination.

[33]     You testified about the problems you face and that moreover that the law criminalizing same sex relations is one that applies to the entire country. And it’s a way that the state as I’ve said perpetuates the stigma and hostility of the public towards LGBT individuals. I therefore find that there’s no viable internal flight alternative to you in Barbados.

CONCLUSION

[34]     So, in conclusion and based on the totality of the evidence, I conclude that you are a Convention refugee pursuant to Section 96 if the Act and I therefore, accept your claim.

[35]     CLAIMANT: Thank you

[36]     MEMBER: Thank you. We are concluded.