You are here:

Gender, sexual identity and age in the refugee context


The module explores gender, sexual orientation and age in refugee and forced migration contexts.

Topics covered

  • Feminist, gender and critical theory and its application to the refugee field
  • Jurisprudence and policy pertaining to refugee women – case studies of FGM and domestic violence as grounds for refugee status
  • Jurisprudence and policy pertaining to sexual orientation and identity, and child refugees.

Learning outcomes

The module provides you with an advanced critical understanding of gender, age and sexuality in refugee and forced migration contexts. You will learn how to construct, advance and defend arguments at the forefront of the study of gender, age and sexuality in a range of different disciplines.


This elective module is assessed via a 4,000-word research essay, which comprises 70% of the overall grade, and three online assessments (E-tivities), which make up 30% of the overall grade.

Module team

Brian Gorlick SAS

Brian Gorlick - Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies

Brian teaches on the MA course, and he is also Senior Research Associate at the Refugee Law Initiative and is currently engaged in consultancy and volunteer work on international public law and promotion of refugee and migrant rights.

Brian worked with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UN Secretariat in a number of senior positions for over twenty-five years. With UNHCR he served in Turkey, India, Sweden, New York, the Caribbean, Bangladesh, Malaysia and the Department of International Protection at UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva. He has also been on UN mission to some forty countries around the globe. Prior to joining the United Nations, Brian worked as legal counsel in the areas of immigration, refugee and administrative law in Toronto.

For several years Brian was Policy Developments Editor of the International Journal of Refugee Law (Oxford University Press). He has published on international and comparative refugee and human rights law, gender rights, immigration and national security, and global administrative law, and has lectured and taught at university and training institutions in Asia, Europe and North America. He holds degrees from the University of Winnipeg (BA), York University (MA), Osgoode Hall Law School (JD), and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LLM, with distinction) and was called to the Ontario Bar.

Dr Moira Dustin

Dr Moira Dustin - Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies

Moira lecturers in the School of Law, Politics and Sociology at the University of Sussex. She was the UK lead on the European Research Council project SOGICA (Sexual orientation and gender identity claims of asylum: a European human rights challenge) (2016 - 2020).

Her current project in development is the Women in International Refugee Law Initiative (WiRLI) with Christel Querton, Lecturer in Law at the University of the West of England. Moira has a PhD in gender studies from the London School of Economics and has worked for UK-based NGOs, including the Refugee Council. She is involved in local refugee and migrant community initiatives in Brighton where she lives.

Member institution: School of Advanced Study

Carmelo Danisi

Carmello Danisi is Adjunct Professor and Researcher of Public International Law at the University of Bologna, Department of Social and Political Sciences (Italy) and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, School of Law, Politics and Sociology. He has been Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, College of Law (Endeavour Research Fellowship 2015 – project: The use of the principle of the best interests of the child in the migration context) and has been invited to a number of universities, including the Higher School of Economics of Moscow and the New York Law School.

After a PhD scholarship in Democracy and Human Rights (University of Genova, Italy), Carmelo has been involved in several research projects concerning EU and international law and is author of several publications, especially on the framework of the ECHR and of the EU related to migration, non-discrimination and human rights. In 2015 he published his first book Tutela dei diritti umani, non discriminazione e orientamento sessuale [Human Rights Protection, Non-discrimination and Sexual Orientation], Editoriale scientifica (Italy).