Relocation, relocation: the impact of internal relocation on women asylum seekers

This research project exploire the legal principle of internal relocation and assesses its application and impact on women asylum seekers who have experienced gender based persecution. This report discusses key issues regarding the use and application of internal relocation and women's access to international protection. The research analysed how legal representatives believe internal relocation is being applied to many women's asylum claims. 

The analysis hilighted worrying trends that legal representatives identified including: 

  • a lack of understanding of the issues that affect women asylum seekers
  • the impact of internal relocation on the decision making process
  • the politicisation of refugee law, the judiciary and the impact this politicisation has on the internal relocation test
  • the relationship between application of internal relocation by the Judiciary and the UNHCR guidelines
  • Practical implications for legal representatives
  • risks on return
  • cultural context
  • safety and protection issues
  • perception of understanding within the UK immigration courts
  • women's understanding of internal relocation

Discussions with legal representatives and women asylum seekers revealed the complexity of issues associated with the application and appropriateness of internal relocation. Drawing from the analysis within this research, this project recommends key practical considerations alongside areas for further research and discussions. These are provided int he context of the CEDAW Committee's concluding observations and the requirement under the Equality Act 2006 for all public authorities to comply with the Gender Equality Duty.