Hastings Women’s Law Journal


The High Court of Australia's recent Khawar decision marked a significant step forward in the progression toward universal recognition of gender violence as a legitimate basis for asylum. The guidelines regarding gender-related claims issued by the UNHCR in May 2002 further encouraged this progress. The Khawar decision recognized that asylum is appropriate when the applicant's home government persecutes the applicant by tolerating or condoning the violence of non-state actors. After Khawar, Australia stands with Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K. in recognizing gender violence as a basis for asylum. Adjudicators in the United States should note the tide and consider adopting the Khawar reasoning.