AbstractsPolitical Science

Charter Flights Full of Homosexuals. Policy making on homosexual men in Dutch immigration and asylum procedures 1945-2001

by Frerik Johannes Kampman

Institution: Leiden University
Year: 2014
Keywords: Homosexuality; Migration; Policy; Asylum
Record ID: 1255947
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/28519


Between 1945 and 2001 possibilities for homosexual men to move to the Netherlands improved considerably. This thesis examines how and why this development took place. In 1967 for the first time men were allowed to stay in the Netherlands officially, despite their sexuality. From 1974 partner migration became possible, allowing the foreign partner to stay 'because' of his sexuality. In 1981 the Netherlands was the first country that allowed asylum seekers to be granted refugee status on the basis of their sexuality. Main reasons for this change are the secularisation of the Netherlands, a liberalisation of family law, progressive politics in the 1970s because of the social (and sexual) revolutions in the 1960s. Also very important was the emergence of the gay emancipation movement in the Netherlands which became politically active in the 1970s. Nevertheless, implementation of these novel opportunities to settle in the Netherlands proved more difficult. Local police forces applied their own moral judgments on immigrants and it took until the 1990s before a homosexual asylum seeker was granted refugee status for his sexuality. This thesis therefore argues that the Netherlands wanted to show abroad how progressive its policies were, while practically, the results of the policies were not so progressive at all. Nevertheless, the Netherlands became to be known abroad as a safe haven for homosexual men. This was an image that the Dutch government tried to avoid in the 1960s, while it embraced the image in the 1990s. This thesis adds to the debate of policy change, as well as to the debate around the difference between policy and practice, taking immigration of homosexual men as a case study.