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On 8 March 2016, International Women’s Day, members of the European parliament voted in a resolution on the situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU.
Crucially, this resolution includes all the demands from the Charter campaign to close the Protection Gap.
Asylum Aid provided a briefing and follow-up lobbying to inform the Rapporteur, Mary Honeyball MEP, and the FEMM Committee in their considerations. Debora Singer was one of a panel of experts who spoke at a FEMM Committee hearing on 3rd December 2015.
The European Parliament resolution on the situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU says,
The European Parliament:
Stresses the crucial importance of providing childcare and care for dependants during screening and asylum interviews, in order to ensure a fair opportunity to make an asylum claim;
Urges the Member States to duly inform women seeking asylum about their rights and in particular about the right to request a female interviewer and interpreter, and to have a personal interview separately from any third parties;
Urges the Member States to provide women with information on asylum procedures, their rights and the specific services available to women applying for asylum;
Urges the Member States to deliver comprehensive and mandatory training for interviewers and interpreters on sexual violence, trauma and memory;
Asks all Member States, in collaboration with the EU, to guarantee specialised trauma counselling and psychosocial care for women who have experienced gender-based harm.
The influence of supporters of the Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum can now be seen not just in the UK but also across Europe!