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Migration and Home Affairs

social group

Definition(s)

  • In the global context, a group of persons who share a common characteristic other than their risk of being persecuted which often is innate, unchangeable, or which is otherwise fundamental to identity, conscience or the exercise of one’s human rights, or who are perceived as a group by society.
  • In the EU-context, a group where in particular members of that group share an innate characteristic, or a common background that cannot be changed, or share a characteristic or belief that is so fundamental to identity or conscience that a person should not be forced to renounce it; and that group has a distinct identity in the relevant country, because it is perceived as being different by the surrounding society.

Source(s)

Translations

  • BG: социална група
  • CS: společenská skupina
  • DE: soziale Gruppe
  • EL: κοινωνική ομάδα
  • EN: social group
  • ES: Grupo social
  • ET: sotsiaalne grupp
  • FI: yhteiskunnallinen ryhmä
  • FR: groupe social
  • GA: grúpa sóisialta
  • HU: társadalmi csoport
  • IT: gruppo sociale
  • LT: socialinė grupė
  • LV: sociālā grupa
  • MT: grupp soċjali
  • NL: sociale groep
  • PL: grupa społeczna
  • PT: grupo social
  • SK: sociálna skupina
  • SL: družbena skupina
  • SV: socialgrupp
  • NO: sosial gruppe

Synonym(s)

  • membership of a particular social group

Related Term(s)

Note(s)

1. Membership of a particular social group is one of the five Convention grounds for persecution enumerated in Art. 1A(2) of the Geneva Refugee Convention and Protocol. It is the ground with the least clarity and it is not defined by the Convention itself. It is being invoked with increasing frequency in refugee status determinations with States having recognised women, families, tribes, occupational groups, and homosexuals, as constituting a particular social group for the purposes of the Convention. For more information see: UNHCR Guidelines on international protection “Membership of a particular social group” within the context of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees.
2. The concept of Directive 2011/95/EU (Recast Qualification Directive) is narrower than that of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
3. Depending on the circumstances in the country of origin, a particular social group might include a group based on a common characteristic of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation cannot be understood to include acts considered to be criminal in accordance with national law of the EU Member States. Gender related aspects, including gender identity, shall be given due consideration for the purposes of determining membership of a particular social group or identifying a characteristic of such a group.