WOMEN AND OUR CHILDREN ESCAPING PERSECUTION, WAR & ECOLOGICAL DEVASTATION HAVE A RIGHT TO ASYLUM AND SUPPORT

Up from Destitution, a survey of women seeking asylum and making immigration applications in the UK, has found that 60% of participants are living on an income so low that they are classified as officially destitute. Two-thirds of women have suffered rape or domestic violence.

The survey investigates why women are destitute and the answers are an indictment of the UK’s racist hostile immigration environment, institutionalised sexism especially in the treatment of rape survivors and a callous disregard for the situation of mothers with children.

The survey is timely as the government proposes new legislation, the Nationality and Borders Bill, justified by claims from the Home Secretary that men arriving in boats across the channel are “elbowing women and children in need to the side”. In reality the Bill will make is easier for the government to deport everyone, including women and children, no matter what persecution, war, starvation or environmental devastation they are fleeing from. It will enshrine in law some of the worst of the government’s enforced destitution policies.  It introduces a two-tier system so that anyone entering the UK by a so-called illegal route (there are virtually no legal routes) will no longer be entitled to full refugee status.  People will have limited access to benefits and family reunion, and have only one chance to make an application – this means even rape survivors will be expected to speak about everything they suffered at the very beginning regardless of trauma and the fear of stigma and discrimination.  The Bill is based on lies.[i]

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UP FROM DESTITUTION

Crossroads Women's Centre,
25 Wolsey Mews

London NW5 2DX
+44 (0)20 7482 2496   gwad@allwomencount.net