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Refugees' Experiences of Home Office Interviews: A Qualitative Study on the Disclosure of Sensitive Personal Information

Bogner, D; Brewin, C; Herlihy, J; (2010) Refugees' Experiences of Home Office Interviews: A Qualitative Study on the Disclosure of Sensitive Personal Information. J ETHN MIGR STUD , 36 (3) 519 - 535. 10.1080/13691830903368329.

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Abstract

Decisions on refugee status rely heavily on judgments about how individuals present themselves and their histories. Late or non-disclosure of sensitive personal information, for example, may be assumed to be a result of fabrication by the asylum claimant. However, if incorrect, such assumptions can lead to genuine refugees in need of protection being refused asylum. A study employing semi-structured interviews with 27 refugees and asylum-seekers with traumatic histories was conducted to explore the factors involved in the disclosure of sensitive personal information during Home Office interviews in the UK. Many reported difficulties with disclosing personal details, and interviewer qualities emerged as the strongest factor in either facilitating or impeding disclosure. The interview data showed that disclosure was not just based on personal decisions and internal processes, but was also related to interpersonal, situational and contextual factors. Recommendations for improving Home Office procedures are also discussed.

Type:Article
Title:Refugees' Experiences of Home Office Interviews: A Qualitative Study on the Disclosure of Sensitive Personal Information
DOI:10.1080/13691830903368329
Keywords:Refugees, Self-Disclosure, Asylum Interviews, Trauma, UK Home Office, SEXUAL-ABUSE, THERAPY, SURVIVORS, VIOLENCE, TORTURE, SHAME
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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