The EU’s top court says psychological tests should not be used as grounds to reject asylum claims from people fleeing countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Tests to determine a person’s sexual orientation are controversial, but are used when assessing asylum claims.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling is binding in all 28 EU states.
The ECJ case relates to a Nigerian man who submitted an asylum application in Hungary in April 2015.
He said he feared persecution in Nigeria for being gay.
Hundreds of homosexuals fearing persecution in Africa, the Middle East and Chechnya have sought asylum in the EU, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights reports.
The Nigerian’s claim was rejected after a psychologist’s report failed to confirm his homosexuality.
A court in Szeged, Hungary, must now reconsider his case in light of the ECJ ruling.
In December 2014 the ECJ ruled on a similar case in the Netherlands and found that sexuality tests violated asylum seekers’ human rights.
In the new ruling, the ECJ said “certain forms of expert reports may prove useful” in such cases, but added that such reports interfered with a person’s privacy. Authorities must also determine the reliability of a claimant’s statements, the judges said.
In 2013 the ECJ ruled that asylum could be granted in cases where people were actually jailed for homosexuality in their home country.
Homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries, including key Western allies such as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and Botswana.