Reasons for persecution
8. (1) An international protection officer or the Tribunal, as the case may be, shall take the following into account when assessing the reasons for persecution:
(a) the concept of race shall in particular include considerations of colour, descent or membership of a particular ethnic group;
(b) the concept of religion shall in particular include the holding of theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, the participation in, or abstention from, formal worship in private or in public, either alone or in community with others, other religious acts or expressions of view, or forms of personal or communal conduct based on or mandated by any religious belief;
(c) the concept of nationality shall not be confined to citizenship or lack thereof but shall in particular include membership of a group determined by its cultural, ethnic or linguistic identity, common geographical or political origins or its relationship with the population of another state;
(d) a group shall be considered to form a particular social group where in particular—
(i) 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, or
(ii) that group has a distinct identity in the relevant country, because it is perceived as being different by the surrounding society,
and, depending on the circumstances in the country of origin, a particular social group may include a group based on a common characteristic of sexual orientation;
(e) the concept of political opinion shall in particular include the holding of an opinion, thought or belief on a matter related to the potential actors of persecution and to their policies or methods, whether or not that opinion, thought or belief has been acted upon by the applicant concerned.
(2) In the assessment of whether an applicant has a well-founded fear of being persecuted, it is immaterial whether the applicant actually possesses the racial, religious, national, social or political characteristic which attracts the persecution, provided that such a characteristic is attributed to the applicant by the actor of persecution.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (1)(d):
(a) sexual orientation shall not include acts considered to be criminal in the State;
(b) 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.