Calls for EU asylum policies to be more gender sensitive

Neena Gill voted today for a Labour MEP's, Mary Honeyball's report calling for urgent action to ensure EU asylum policies are more gender sensitive.

Recommendations include greater safety and security for the most vulnerable refugees; the use of female interviewers, translators and interpreters; childcare during screening and asylum interviews; trauma counselling for women who have experienced gender-based violence; legal assistance for women in reception centres; and an end to the detention of children, pregnant women and rape victims.

Neena Gill said:

"Over half of the refugees reaching Greece to seek asylum in the EU are women and children and a third of asylums seekers globally. Yet the asylum process is designed to suit men. This is simply unacceptable." 

"Too often Asylum procedures do not recognised the forms of gender-based persecution that Women and LGBTI people are subject to"

"Violence is an everyday reality for women and girls fleeing conflict. But pressure on asylum systems should never excuse failure to protect women from violence nor should women seeking asylum experience any double standards - they should have the same rights as other victims of gender-based violence.

"On arrival at reception centres these already vulnerable women, who may be victims of sexual violence, trafficking or other violent crimes, face additional barriers which exacerbate their already vulnerable positions.

 "We now need Europe's governments to urgently implement the report's measures to improve the safety and security of women refugees and asylum seekers, and ensure all asylum policies and procedures are gender sensitive."


Watch Neena speak out on this issue in the Parliament