Protecting rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls: Council of Europe recommendation adopted

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Protecting rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls: Council of Europe recommendation adopted

The Committee of Ministers, meeting in Turin, has adopted a new recommendation to protect the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls providing measures to better respond to needs and challenges that they face.

Drawing on Council of Europe treaties including the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and the Convention on action against trafficking in human beings, the recommendation addresses issues faced by women and girls: from adequate transit and reception facilities, to their health needs or establishing gender-sensitive asylum policies.

Also drawing on findings from the European Committee on the Prevention of Torture and from relevant United Nations instruments, it provides member States with a checklist of measures to ensure that migrant women’s human rights are better protected.

Part of the Council of Europe Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe (2021-2025), the recommendation furthermore provides guidance to member States regarding women’s needs in terms of social services, employment, education and participation, to ensure that public policies fully contribute to the integration and empowerment of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls.

Welcoming the adoption, Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić stressed how crucial it was to acknowledge that women and girl migrants, refugees or asylum-seekers have particular needs and circumstances which should be considered at all stages of the migration process.

“The war in Ukraine sadly shows the high risks faced by refugee women and girls. This recommendation provides specific advice to our member States on how to better protect them from all forms of violence, to support victims and to ensure accountability of perpetrators” she said.

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