Citation: 2021 RLLR 68
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: June 9, 2021
Panel: Kerry Cundal
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Albert Chiu
RPD Number: VB9-10003
Associated RPD Number(s): N/A
ATIP Number: A-2022-01594
ATIP Pages: N/A
REASONS FOR DECISION
 This is the decision of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) in the claim of XXXX XXXX XXXX as a citizen of Cameroon who is claiming refugee protection pursuant to section 96 and subsection 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “Act”)1.
 The claimant fears returning to Cameroon because he fears persecution due to his sexual orientation. The claimant left Cameroon in XXXX 2011 and entered Canada with a study visa. The claimant provided further details in his Basis of Claim2 (BOC) form, some of which are highlighted in this decision. The panel has reviewed and applied the Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression in this decision.3 In particular, the panel is mindful of the socio-cultural context of a sexual minority who has lived in a country where same-sex activities are criminalized, and societal violence continues today against sexual minorities in Cameroon.
 The panel finds that the claimant has established that he is a Convention refugee pursuant to section 96 of the Act for the reasons that follow.
 The panel finds that the claimant’s identity has been established on a balance of probabilities by a copy of his Cameroonian passport.4
Credibility, Well-Founded Fear of Persecution and Risk of Harm
 The claimant testified in a straightforward manner consistent with his supporting documents. Accordingly, the panel finds that he is a credible witness. The claimant submitted corroborative documents including identity documents, education documents, supporting letters and photos with same-sex partners and photos of injuries he suffered due to a homophobic attack he suffered in Cameroon before he left for Canada.5 The claimant provided detailed testimony regarding his first same-sex intimate experience with XXXX in junior high school. He also provided detailed and consistent testimony regarding the attack against him and XXXX and the subsequent detention for two days by the police. He testified that he fears that he will be put in jail, suffer further mistreatment, or be killed if he returns to Cameroon. He testified that he had to be very careful in Cameroon about hiding his sexual orientation as even family members of sexual minorities may face abuse. He testified that he had a student visa to come to Canada and then he subsequently had a post-secondary work permit after he graduated from the XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX He testified that he has never visited Cameroon since he left in 2011 and over the years, he has become more open about his sexual orientation in Canada. He provided detailed testimony regarding same-sex relationships he has had in Canada. He testified that he works in XXXX XXXX XXXX and travels to Fort McMurray, Alberta for work. He testified that he still keeps a low profile about his sexual orientation at work. He testified that he has family in Quebec, but he chose to come to Edmonton because he is still uncomfortable around people from his Cameroonian community in Canada and their mentality against sexual minorities.
 The SOGIE guidelines at section 22.214.171.124 indicate: An individual with diverse SOGIE may reasonably delay making a claim for refugee protection based on SOGIE out of a fear of reprisal for themselves or family members. A reasonable delay may also arise out of an individual’s reluctance to reveal their SOGIE to a spouse or other family member, or in their realizing or accepting their SOGIE.6 When the panel asked the claimant about his delay in making in a refugee claim in Canada, he explained that he was stressed about his situation in Cameroon given the attack and detention he suffered before he left Cameroon. He testified that he had a study visa and then a post-secondary work permit and was able to stay in status in Canada. He testified that through friends who are also sexual minorities he learned more about the refugee process and he was also able to gain support through the Mennonite Newcomers Centre and the Edmonton Pride organization. He testified that while he was studying at the XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX he saw more and more examples of support, including events for sexual minorities on campus.
 When the claimant was asked how he identifies his sexual orientation, he testified that he is bisexual, and he prefers sex with men. The SOGIE guidelines indicates at section 2.6: There is no standard terminology that adequately captures the diversity within and between the evolving concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression across cultures and societies7. Further, section 3.1 states: Depending on factors such as race, ethnicity, religion, faith or belief system, age, disability, health status, social class and education, individuals with diverse SOGIE recognize and act on their SOGIE differently. An individual’s self-awareness and self-acceptance of their SOGIE may present as a gradual or non-linear process. There is no standard set of criteria that can be relied upon to establish an individual’s identification as an individual with diverse SOGIE.8
 The objective evidence supports the claimant’s fear of returning to Cameroon and indicates that section 347 of the penal code in Cameroon criminalizes same-sex activities and provides up to five years in prison for sexual activity with a same-sex partner.9 Further, the objective evidence indicates that authorities arbitrarily arrest and abuse sexual minorities in Cameroon.10 The evidence indicates that homophobia is pervasive in Cameroon and there are daily attacks on sexual minorities including harassment, assaults, extortion and murders.11
 Based on the totality of the evidence, the panel finds that the claimant has established a nexus to a Convention ground, namely membership in a particular social group as a sexual minority. Further, the panel finds that the claimant faces a serious possibility of persecution if he returns to Cameroon. Given that the claimant faces a forward-looking serious possibility of persecution in Cameroon due his sexual orientation and the application of the SOGIE guidelines, the panel finds that the claimant’s delay in making a refugee claim does not undermine his subjective fear or his credibility.
State Protection and Internal Flight Alternative (IFA)
 Given that the state is an agent of harm in this case and the criminalization of same-sex activities, the panel finds that there is no state protection for the claimant in Cameroon in his particular circumstances as a bisexual man who prefers men to women. Furthermore, given that the state is the agent of harm and the criminalization of same-sex activities applies throughout the country, the panel finds that it is neither safe nor objectively reasonable in all of the circumstances, including the claimant’s particular circumstances for him to relocate anywhere in Cameroon. Accordingly, the panel finds that there is no viable internal flight alternative.
 For the forgoing reasons the panel finds that the claimant is a Convention refugee pursuant to section 96 of the Act and the Board therefore accepts his claim.
(signed) Kerry Cundal
June 9, 2021
1 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,S.C. 2001, c. 27.
2 Exhibit 2.
3 Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE), Ottawa, Canada, May 1, 2017.
4 Exhibit 1.
5 Exhibits 4 to 10.
6 Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE), Ottawa, Canada, May 1, 2017.
7 Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE), Ottawa, Canada, May 1, 2017.
8 Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE), Ottawa, Canada, May 1, 2017.
9 Exhibit 3, National Documentation Package, (NDP), Cameroon, May 31, 2021, Item 6.1, Response to Information Request, CMR200309.FE.
10 Exhibit 3, National Documentation Package, (NDP), Cameroon, May 31, 2021, Item 6.1, Response to Information Request, CMR200309.FE.
11 Exhibit 3, National Documentation Package, (NDP), Cameroon, May 31, 2021, Item 6.1, Response to Information Request, CMR200309.FE.