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Enumerating the factors causing organized crime in the world

Professor Galya Ruffer, J. She completed a J. Her work questions on what the international will to address human rights abuses depends and argues that the ways in which we prosecute, protect and attribute persecution are not separate from but part of a broader system of legal relations connected, essentially, to foreign policy and the global economy. She has conducted field research in Europe and East Africa and has published on testimony and justice in the DR Congo, asylum law and policy, human rights litigation in transnational courts and immigrant incorporation and integration in Europe.

Her books include Adjudicating Refugee and Asylum Status: Doing Justice for Sexual Violence forthcoming. Aside from her academic work, she has worked as an immigration attorney representing political asylum claimants both as a solo-practitioner and as a pro-bono attorney. Introduction This information aims to provide practitioners with an overview of the evolution of gang-related asylum claims and specific information on the standards that apply under international law.

Although gang violence is a feature of everyday life in some parts of the world, the adjudication of claims of gang-based persecution has been limited mainly to Canada, Mexico and the United States and these cases have been brought primarily by young people from Central America. For example, in the United States asylum requests from those fleeing gang-related violence in Mexico reached a record 5,551 in 2010. On the other hand, only 165 were granted, meaning that for an individual fleeing gang-related violence, finding protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention is enumerating the factors causing organized crime in the world very difficult.

Gang-based Asylum Claims

The Guidance Note addresses whether victims of criminal gangs or activities associated with those groups may be considered in need of international protection under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and, if so, under what circumstances. The Guidance Note offers the most comprehensive analysis of international legal protection for gang-related asylum claims. Not wishing to duplicate this note, this summary will concentrate on analyzing the principles of law established in domestic courts, focusing mainly on the United States where the greatest number of cases have been tried.

I will include other countries as relevant and summarize the state of the law for the three forms of protection available for those fleeing gang-related violence: This summary will also point out areas where the UNHCR Guidance Note has come out in support of a different interpretation of the protection obligated under the 1951 Refugee Convention for those fleeing gang-related violence than that currently in practice at the domestic level.

Background of gang-related violence claims Historically, the claim to asylum based on gang-related violence was directly related to the inadmissibility and deportability of aliens who commit gang crimes.

Enumerating the factors causing organized crime in the world

Following the end of the civil wars in Central America and the signing of peace accords in El Salvador in 1992 and Guatemala in 1996, the United States began a policy of deporting gang members, raised in the United States, to Central America and Mexico where gangs were rare creating was have come to be known as transnational youth gangs.

As one of the poorest nations in the region, Honduran youth violence has always been among the highest in Central America with gangs such as MS-13 and Mara 18 the most deeply entrenched. In response to deportation orders, in the early 2000, lawyers began to argue that Salvadoran youth faced persecution as perceived or actual gang members.

Mano Dura allowed for known and suspected gang members to be routinely rounded up by police and held without trial. In addition, under Mano Dura, extrajudicial killings of known and suspected gang members increased with police and military involvement.

These policies were and are particularly harmful to children. In addition to rounding up children, sometimes as young as 12 or 13 years of age, without proof of their gang association and denying them fundamental due process guarantees including the right to a fair trial, some facilities detained children with adults, leading to rape and sexual abuse Boulton 2011: Until 2009, American courts rejected asylum claims based on gang violence on the grounds that the state were trying to crack down on gang violence.

Grounds for Asylum This pattern of violence in which youth who had been deported from western states were seeking reentry or resisting deportation after having been either involved in youth gangs in El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala or targeted by them for resisting membership has led to the recognition of a new type of victim of persecution that falls into four categories: A general fear of gang violence or recruitment is insufficient.

In the case of gang-related violence in Central America where race and nationality are not at issue, this leaves political opinion, religion or membership in a particular social group as the only basis for claims. Second, the persecution must be at the hands of the government or a third party that the government is unable or unwilling to control.

  • Until 2009, American courts rejected asylum claims based on gang violence on the grounds that the state were trying to crack down on gang violence;
  • However, there could be a consensus on certain diffuse moral values which prescribed limits within which different set of rules could exist;
  • Accordingly, the Chamber finds that, in relation to the crime of wilful killing, the actus reus — the physical act necessary for the offence — is the death of the victim as a result of the actions or omissions of the accused;
  • If any person, acting through the representatives of the Protecting Power, voluntarily demands internment, and if his situation renders this step necessary, he shall be interned by the Power in whose hands he may be;
  • Persecution as a Crime Against Humanity The submissions of the parties reveal two major areas of dispute regarding persecutions under Article 5 h of the Statute;
  • However, the instances of such action that might be deemed prejudicial or hostile to State security must be judged as such under international law, both for cases arising in occupied and unoccupied territory.

Asylum has been granted in gang-related cases where the basis has been political persecution by enumerating the factors causing organized crime in the world state. For example, where politicians target journalists who report on gangs. In most gang-related claims, the persecution involves non-state actors. This has been easier to document in Central American gang cases since the countries are small as compared to Russia or the Ukraine. Once an applicant has shown past persecution, however, the burden of proof is on the government to show that internal relocation is an option Lister 2008: The following is a summary of the relevant tests needed to satisfy an asylum claim based on gang related violence where the claim is based on an imputed political opinion, religion or membership in a particular social group.

According to the UNHCR a particular social group can be established through two alternate approaches that are emerging in State practice: The group only needs to be identifiable through one of the approaches, not both. The most relevant in gang related cases is a shared past experience. It may be helpful to have an expert opinion from a psychologist of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It is also helpful to have clear documentation that the state is complicit in the violence against women situated similarly to the applicant or as part of an institutionalized pattern or practice.

Family Members In its Guidance Note, the UNHCR stipulates that families could be subjected to threats and violence as an act of retaliation or to exert pressure on other members of the family to succumb to recruitment attempts or extortion demands.

These threats can be the result of a family member being perceived as holding the same anti-gang views as a father, husband, son or brother para. Inclusion of Former Gang Members Excludable under Article 1F b These claims involve former gang members or persons with gang tattoos who apply for asylum since they fear being sent back to their home country based on being identified as a gang member and the target of police.

Social Disorganization: Meaning, Characteristics and Causes

Application of the Exclusion Clauses: On the other hand, where individual responsibility for actions which give rise to exclusion is presumed, as might be the case where, as stated in para.

Moreover, such presumptions in the context of asylum proceedings are rebuttable. Therefore, for the exclusion to be justified, individual responsibility must be established in relation to a crime falling within the scope of Article 1F. Three issues need to be addressed: This area is currently in flux. In the United States the Seventh Circuit recently ruled that former gang membership can be the basis for a particular social group given that Congress has not enacted a mandatory bar as it had for persecutors Ramos v.

Holder2009but the Ninth Circuit in Arteaga v. Former Gang Membership as a Potential Particular Social Group in the Seventh CircuitMarch 2, 2010 Since the shared characteristic cannot be defined by terrorist, criminal or persecutory activity or association, either in the past or present, former gang members are generally barred from claiming asylum and will more likely find relief under CAT or Withholding of Removal.

In some cases, however, former gang members have been awarded asylum based on political opinion. Withholding of Removal and the Convention Against Torture CAT Withholding of removal has generally not been an option for cases of gang-related violence since it requires more stringent proof than that required for a grant of asylum.

This creates a high bar for CAT claimants who must show that the home government is both aware of the activity and tolerates its occurrence.

  • He recognized that the division of labour prompted differences and conflicts;
  • The Secretary -General believes that this concept should not be retained in regard to the International Tribunal;
  • The crime of murder, as charged in the Amended Indictment, contravenes a basic rule of international humanitarian law similar to the safeguards against wilful killing , as prohibited in each grave breach provision of the Geneva Conventions.

Ashcroft2002 See. INS341 F. Since the general age range for being a target in Central America is 23 and younger, a case for someone outside of this age range needs to present evidence that this range is too narrow.

He states that they will target him for robberies and criminal activity primarily because he is a bus driver. Canada Minister of Citizenship and Immigration v. Canada Minister of Citizenship and Immigration 3 F.

What is a “gang”?

Canada Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationF. He witnessed a murder carried out by Boca and was able to identify the perpetrators. After leaving the group, Yoli began to be subject to death threats over a five-year period.

  • I will include other countries as relevant and summarize the state of the law for the three forms of protection available for those fleeing gang-related violence;
  • New ideals arise and new institutions are formed.

The death threats eventually forced him to flee the country. The board accepted his testimony as credible and trustworthy, but found that his fear of a criminal gang did not have a enumerating the factors causing organized crime in the world to any of the grounds given in the Convention definition. Yoli argued that the board erred in holding that there was no nexus between his fears and any of the enumerated grounds in the Convention refugee definition.

The Minister argued that this was a question of fact within the board's expertise, and as such it should be accorded significant deference. Although there was evidence that Yoli might be subjected to harm if he returned to Argentina, he failed to demonstrate that such harm or threat was connected to his political opinion or one of the other enumerated grounds in the definition of Convention refugee.

Yoli did not have a political opinion within the definition accepted by the courts. Boca was threatening him strictly based on its perception that he was to reveal evidence to the authorities and not because of his perceived political opinion cited in UNHCR Guidance Note.

X reFile No. New Zealand Refugee Appeal Nr. The 1951 Convention ground of political opinion needs to reflect the reality of the specific geographical, historical, political, legal, judicial, and socio-cultural context of the country of origin cited in UNHCR Guidance Note. United Kingdom Althea Sonia Britton v.

Court of Appeal, 7 Feb. The appellant and her family became the targets of a gang for political reasons her cousins left a political party in which they had been active members, and as result were suspected of betraying it.

The Court allowed the appeal and remitted the appellant's case to the IAT to enable them to reconsider the sufficiency of protection issue in the light of all the evidence. Specifically, the Court said: Nor does the fact that they use armed response when apprehending criminal suspects. The CIPU report which we have seen does refer to gang violence in Jamaica, particularly in Kingston and the police's ability to control it. It may be that on consideration of that material it can properly be concluded that there is sufficiency of protection.

But neither the special adjudicator or the IAT refer to that part of the report in their decisions, or appear to have given it any consideration in the light of the appellant's evidence to which I have referred. It may well be, of course, that the IAT gave such scant consideration to the evidence on this issue because they thought it was irrelevant.


But that is a further reason for getting them to reconsider it. The first social group, persons resistant to gang membership, the Board acknowledged as potentially having statistical reality, but maintained that without actual social visibility no such group can be acknowledged for their purposes.

Hence, actual visibility was very much the issue and the deciding factor in E-A-G. The BIA held that petitioner failed to establish that the harm he feared was on account of a protected ground. Instead, the evidence supported the conclusion that petitioner as being recruited and harassed because he was a teenaged male living in Guatemala.

The Court also agreed that petitioner failed to establish eligibility for relief under CAT because he did not show that the national or local governments acquiesced in the torturous activities of the gang. IJ Tsankov Los Angeles, January 14, 2009 Granting asylum to twin girls from El Salvador based on their family group that has been a target of gang violence.

Alexander Aleinikoff, "Protected characteristics and social perceptions: Notification of Ramos v. He petitions our Court for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissing his appeal and declining to reopen his case. We decide whether the BIA erred in holding that his case cannot be reopened on the ground of ineffective assistance of counsel. A sub-issue is whether an alien who serves as a Government witness in the United States can be removed to his home country if the person he made a statement or testified against has threatened his life.

This raises an issue not addressed before by us — the extent a United Nations Convention recently ratified by Congress affects removal in this case. We grant the petition and remand to the BIA for further proceedings.

Unaccompanied Children Leaving Central America and Mexico and the need for International Protection, 13 March 2014, podcast and report available to download at: