Chairperson’s Guideline 9 - Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics

​​​​The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has published a revised Chairperson's Guideline 9 – Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression​, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC).

Guideline 9 was first introduced in 2017 to provide clear and consistent guidance on cases involving sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Two years later, in the spring of 2019, we launched a review of the implementation of Guideline 9.

Following extensive internal and external consultations, the Review of the Implementation of Guideline 9: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and​ Expression was completed, resulting in 11 recommendations which are currently being  implemented in accordance with the implementation plan.

Recommendations touch on a variety of issues: strengthening elements of the Guideline itself; enhancing training offered to IRB registry personnel, interpreters and designated representatives; ensuring more effective internal data capture; and implementing additional safeguards to ensure adherence to principles of natural justice in the hearings process.

The revised Guideline provides enhanced guidance to decision-makers on refugee and immigration cases involving SOGIESC individuals through updated and clarified terminology along with interpretive changes that will help members to identify their own biases and assumptions and to assess credibility.

As part of its Quality Agenda, the IRB is updating its suite of policy instruments in order to provide members with tools that reflect the most up-to-date research and case law. This full suite of tools will support and enhance quality and consistency in decision-making at the IRB while respecting adjudicative independence.