Today on International Women’s Day, the Government announced its revised action plan to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). It includes six new actions for the UK Border Agency (UKBA) – when previously there was just one.
- Women who have been victims of sexual violence will be referred for the specialist support that they need.
- Women will have access to a more transparent asylum process, in which clearer information will be available to them.
- Decision-making in women’s cases will be enhanced because of improved training and monitoring of decisions and performance in gender-related cases.
- In addition, decision-making will be improved by enhanced quality of Country of Origin information.
The full action plan can be found here. The section on asylum is action points 46, 47 and 48.
After months of campaigning by endorsers of the Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum, and more than 800 letters sent to MPs and Ministers across the country via the Refugee Council website, this is a major victory. It means that more resources will be allocated to helping women seeking asylum and that the UK Border Agency will be answerable directly to the Home Secretary on its performance.
Anna Musgrave, Women’s Advocacy and Influencing Officer said:
This is a real step forward and a cause for celebration on International Women’s Day. But if women seeking asylum are to feel the benefit of these changes, UKBA must turn words into reality and take concrete action as a matter of urgency. For too long women seeking asylum have been missed out of government efforts to tackle violence against women and girls.
Refugee Council will continue to speak out about the violence experienced by women as a result of the inadequate asylum support system.
Missed Out was the latest campaign launched under the Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum, supported by the Refugee Council, calling for women seeking asylum to be included in the Government’s strategy to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).