France drops homophobic Senegal, Ghana, Benin from ‘safe’ countries list

In a decision mostly focused on the dangers facing LGBT people in homophobic nations, Benin, Senegal and Ghana have been dropped from the list of “safe” countries from which France does not expect to receive refugees fleeing for their lives. “This list of 16 countries drawn up by OFPRA (the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) … exposes the nationals of these countries to an expulsion procedure as soon as their asylum application is rejected … even before a possible appeal,” the French newspaper Le Monde explained. Criteria for the “safe” list include whether a country respects human rights and the principles of liberty, democracy and the rule of law. Now that Benin, Senegal and Ghana have been removed, the remaining 13 nations on the list are Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Georgia, India, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Mauritius, Moldavia, Mongolia, Montenegro and Serbia.