All Countries Kuwait

2021 RLLR 24

Citation: 2021 RLLR 24
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: October 28, 2021
Panel: Michael McCaffrey
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Adrienne C Smith
Country: Kuwait
RPD Number: TC1-04808
Associated RPD Number(s):
ATIP Number: A-2022-00665
ATIP Pages: 000120-000122


MEMBER: The hearing resumes. The same parties are present. Sir, I’m ready to give you my decision today. The decision I give you now will be provided to you in written form in the coming weeks, and may be revised for grammar and syntax, and references to the case law and documentary evidence may also be added. Do you understand that?

COUNSEL: So, XXXX XXXX (ph), you can say yes if you understand, and no if you don’t.

CLAIMANT: Yes. Yes. Yes.

[1]     MEMBER: Okay. These are the reasons of the Refugee Protection Division in file TC1-04808. XXXX is a citizen of the State of Kuwait by birth, seeks refugee protection pursuant to s. 96 and subsection 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. He alleges more particularly a nexus to the Convention based on his membership in a particular social group, namely his sexual orientation and gender identity. Accordingly, as discussed with Counsel at the beginning of the hearing, I was guided by the Chairperson’s guideline number 9 dealing with such claims.

[2]     The claimant’s personal identity and nationality are established by the documentary evidence, including the certified copy of his Kuwaiti passport disclosed by the Division from the department at Exhibit 4. I’m satisfied on the balance of probabilities as to the claimant’s personal identity and that he’s a citizen of Kuwait and of no other country. The claimant did not allege that he faced a danger of torture in Kuwait. The documentary evidence does not persuade me otherwise, and therefore, I find that he does not face a danger of torture in Kuwait.

[3]     The issue before me was whether I believed the claimant. I found him to be a straightforward and trustworthy witness. He had some awareness of his sexual orientation and gender identity somewhat earlier in his life, when he was still amongst his family in Kuwait, and coming to Canada as a visa student allowed him to explore that more fully. According to the evidence and his testimony, he briefly underwent hormone replacement therapy to transition to the female gender, but has since abandoned that path and currently defines his sexual identity as non-binary — or I guess that’s the gender — I get the terms mixed. From what I know, it totally is not unusual to commence that therapy and to abort it before much progress has been made. That doesn’t concern me. I do find the — the report of the psychiatrist very helpful and informative. The claimant’s own testimony — it is somewhat unclear as to where I think he is. But I think that’s also not unusual, given that he’s only had the freedom to explore his orientation and identity in the last couple of years. It may well be that he — that when all the dust settles, some years from now, he ends up to be a heterosexual or cisgender male, but that’s not what is before me today, and I’m satisfied that if the claimant were required to return to Kuwait, that according to the documentary evidence contained both in part 6 of the Board’s index and disclosed in Exhibit 5 from Counsel, that there’s a serious possibility that the claimant would face persecution in Kuwait because of his sexual orientation and gender identity. I therefore determine that the claimant is a Convention refugee and I accept the present claim.