Citation: 2019 RLLR 208
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: January 24, 2019
Panel: P. Roche
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Talia Joundi
RPD Number: TB8-10588
Associated RPD Number(s): N/A
ATIP Number: A-2020-00518
ATIP Pages: 003240-003246
REASONS FOR DECISION
 This is the decision in the claim of XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX who claims to be a citizen of Yemen and is claiming refugee protection under section 96 and subsection 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).1
 Paragraph 170(f) of the IRPA2 provides that the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) may allow a claim for refugee protection without a hearing, unless the Minister has notified the RPD of the Minister’s intention to intervene within the time limit set out in the Refugee Protection Division Rules.3 Further, subsection 162(2) of IRPA4 directs each division to deal with all proceedings before it as informally and quickly as the circumstances and the considerations of fairness and natural justice permit.
 The claimant’s claim was identified as one that could be processed through the RPD’s expedited process for Yemeni claims. The RPD received the claimant’s signed Certificate of Readiness for the expedited process on December 20, 2018.
 Having carefully considered the evidence in this case, the panel finds that this claim meets the criteria for expedited determination. This claim has been therefore decided without a hearing, according to the Policy on the Expedited Processing of Refugee Claims by the Refugee Protection Division.5
 The panel considered the Chairperson’s Guidelines on Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution.6
 The panel has also taken into consideration the Chairperson’s Guidelines on Civilian Non-Combatants Fearing Persecution In civil War Situations.7
 The panel finds that the claimant is a Convention refugee pursuant to section 96 of IRPA, for reasons of imputed political opinion.
 The claimant’s complete allegations are set out in her Basis of Claim form (BOC)8 and need not be repeated here in detail. To summarize briefly, the claimant alleges a fear of persecution due to the fact that she will be targeted by all groups and militias involved in the conflict, due to her gender. She further alleges that she would be targeted by the Houthi-Saleh militia because her father is from south Yemen and as such are viewed as being pro-government. Due to the ongoing conflict in that country, the claimant believes that as a single woman there is no place for her to live in safety nor is there any state protection.
 The panel is satisfied with the claimant’s personal identity and Yemeni citizenship, based on a certified true copy of her Yemen passport.9
 With respect to the issue of credibility, the panel has reviewed the claimant’s BOC10, her intake forms11 and supporting documentation.12 The panel finds, based on the evidence before it, that the claimant only had temporary student status in Egypt. The panel has also reviewed country conditions documentation contained in the National Documentation Package (NDP) for Yemen13.
 The claimant’s evidence is not internally inconsistent, inherently implausible or contradicted by documentary evidence on country conditions in Yemen. Moreover, her allegations are corroborated by personal documents14 that the panel does not have sufficient reason to discount. The panel therefore finds the claimant’s evidence credible and that the allegations in this case are probably true.
 The panel finds that the claimant does have a subjective fear of persecution, should she return to Yemen.
 The NDP indicates that the war in Yemen continues unabated.15 Civilian authorities did not maintain effective control over the security forces. Houthi-Saleh rebels controlled most of the security apparatus and state institutions. Competing family, tribal, party and sectarian influences also reduced government authority.16 Non-state actors, including tribal militias, reportedly committed significant abuses and few actions led to prosecution.17
 The documentary evidence confirms that all parties to the continuing conflict committed war crimes and other serious violations with inadequate accountability measures in place to ensure justice and reparation to victims.
 The Saudi Arabia-led coalition, supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government, continued to bomb civilian infrastructure and carried out indiscriminate attacks, killing and injuring civilians.
 The Houthi-Saleh forces indiscriminately shelled civilian residential areas in Ta’iz city. The Yemeni government, Houthi-Saleh forces and Yemeni forces aligned with the United Arab Emirates and engaged in illegal detention practices including enforced disappearance and torture and other ill-treatment.18
 In regards to gender, the documentary evidence states the following;
Societal discrimination severely restricts the freedom of movement of women, although restrictions vary by location … ‘Social discrimination severely restricted women’s freedom of movement. Women in general did not enjoy full freedom of movement, although restrictions varied by location. Some observers reported increased restrictions on women in conservative locations, such as Sa’ada. Oxfam reported that men at checkpoints increasingly insisted on adherence to the “mahram” system, the cultural obligation of women to be accompanied by male relatives in public, in areas controlled by radical Islamic groups, such as AQAP. The report also noted that female respondents ranked the key factor limiting women’s freedom of movement as the lack of cultural acceptance, followed by lack of security.19
 Escalating conflict and forced movement of populations continue to create risks and instances of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV), including sexual exploitation and abuse. Focus group discussions have shown that women report psychological distress due to violence, fear for family members and fear of arrest or detention, whilst men report distress due to loss of livelihoods, restricted mobility and being forced to perform “women-specific roles”. These kinds of stress can contribute to increased levels of domestic violence, placing more women at risk.20
 The law states that authorities should execute a man if convicted of killing a woman. The penal code, however, allows leniency for persons guilty of committing an “honor” killing or violently assaulting or killing a woman for perceived “immodest” or “defiant” behavior. The law does not address other types of gender-based abuse, such as beatings, forced isolation, imprisonment, and early and forced marriage.
 The law provides women with protection against domestic violence, except spousal rape, under the general rubric of protecting persons against violence, but authorities did not enforce this provision effectively. Victims rarely reported domestic abuse to police and criminal proceedings in cases of domestic abuse were rare.21
 Violence against women has increased 63 percent since the conflict escalated, according to UNFPA [United Nations Population Fund]. Forced marriage rates, including child marriage, have increased. Yemen has no minimum age of marriage. Women in Yemen face severe discrimination in law and practice. They cannot marry without the permission of their male guardian and do not have equal rights to divorce, inheritance or child custody. Lack of legal protection leaves them exposed to domestic and sexual violence.22
State protection and internal flight alternative
 The panel finds that the claimant has rebutted the presumption of state protection in this case. The state of Yemen is currently in crisis and as such is not able to provide effective state protection to the claimant. As previously noted above, with respect to Yemeni state institutions (regarding the year 2017):
Civilian authorities did not maintain effective control over the security forces. Houthi-Saleh rebels controlled most of the security apparatus and state institutions. Competing family, tribal, party, and sectarian influences also reduced government authority. …
The Hadi government took steps to investigate, prosecute and punish officials who committed human rights abuses; however, impunity was persistent and pervasive. Houthi-Saleh influence over government institutions severely reduced the Hadi government’s capacity to conduct investigations.23
 The panel finds that given the current country conditions there is no viable internal flight alternative for the claimant in Yemen, as there is no place where the claimant can access adequate state protection in Yemen.
 For the above reasons, the panel finds that the claimant is a person in need of protection and accepts her claim.
(signed) P. ROCHE
January 24, 2019
1 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, as amended, sections 96 and 97(1).
2 Ibid., section 170(f).
3 Refugee Protection Division Rules (SOR/2012-256).
4 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, as amended, section 162(2).
5 Policy on the Expedited Processing of Refugee Claims by the Refugee Protection Division, effective September 18, 2015.
6 Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution: Update, Guidelines Issued by the Chairperson Pursuant to Section 65(3) of the Immigration Act, IRB, Ottawa, November 25, 1996, as continued in effect by the Chairperson on June 28, 2002, under the authority found in section 159(l)(h) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
7 Chairperson’s Guideline 1 of the Protection Division: Guideline issued by the Chairperson pursuant to section 65(3) of the Immigration Act: Civilian Non-Combatants Fearing Persecution in Civil War Situations. Effective date: March 7. 1996.
8 Exhibit 2.
9 Exhibit 1.
10 Exhibit 2.
11 Exhibit l.
12 Exhibits 5 and 6.
13 Exhibit 3, National Documentation Package (NDP) for Yemen (October 31, 2018).
14 Exhibit 5.
15 Exhibit 3, NDP for Yemen (October 31, 2018), item 2.1.
18 Exhibit 3, NDP for Yemen (October 31, 2018), item 2.2.
19 Ibid., item 1.5.
20 Ibid., item 1.6.
21 Ibid., item 2.1.
22 Exhibit 3, NDP for Yemen (October 31, 2018), item 2.4.
23 Ibid., item 2.1.