Asylum Aid reviews Charter of the Rights of Women
Charter of the Rights of Women Seeking Asylum 2 years on: impacts and actions published
Asylum Aid, 1 July 2010
The Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum calls on the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to commit to treating women seeking asylum with fairness, dignity and respect.
The Charter provides an overarching set of principles aimed at persuading the UKBA to take both a strategic approach to the needs of women seeking asylum and to put in place the operational procedures and safeguards that will remove the discriminatory barriers they face.
In March 2004 the Home Office incorporated the Asylum Policy Instruction on gender issues in the asylum claim (gender guidelines). Despite this and some further progress by the UKBA, by 2008 those working in the sector were concerned that such initiatives tended to be piecemeal. This suggested a failure to recognise gender as an underlying factor fundamental to creating a fair system.
In addition they noted that there was often a disconnection between the policy and the operational parts of the UKBA, particularly on gender issues. To ensure women’s rights are recognised the Charter proposed that it is essential to create a gender-sensitive culture within the UKBA as a whole.
The Charter’s launch in June 2008 by the Women’s Project at Asylum Aid followed an extensive consultation process with asylum seeking women and with agencies across the refugee, women’s and human rights sector. Organisations which supported the Charter, many of which work directly on issues affecting women seeking asylum rapidly endorsed it. By the time of the Charter’s official launch in Parliament in October 2008, over 100 organisations had endorsed the Charter and at the time of publication of this report, the Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum had 211 endorsers. Click here to read more