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Protecting refugee women from gender-based violence

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 13890 | 30 September 2015

Ms Gisela WURM, Austria, SOC ; Lord Donald ANDERSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Paride ANDREOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Mr Metin Lütfü BAYDAR, Turkey, SOC ; Mr Deniz BAYKAL, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Gülsün BİLGEHAN, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Romania, SOC ; Mr Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA, Spain, SOC ; Mr Namik DOKLE, Albania, SOC ; Ms Josette DURRIEU, France, SOC ; Ms Ute FINCKH-KRÄMER, Germany, SOC ; Mr Gvozden Srećko FLEGO, Croatia, SOC ; Mr Daniel FLOREA, Romania, SOC ; Mr Jean-Claude FRÉCON, France, SOC ; Ms Sahiba GAFAROVA, Azerbaijan, EC ; Mr Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Ms Gabriela HEINRICH, Germany, SOC ; Ms Françoise HETTO-GAASCH, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Ms Susanna HUOVINEN, Finland, SOC ; Ms Eva-Lena JANSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Mogens JENSEN, Denmark, SOC ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Ms Dalia KUODYTĖ, Lithuania, ALDE ; Mr Pierre-Yves LE BORGN', France, SOC ; Mr Jean-Yves LE DÉAUT, France, SOC ; Ms Valentina LESKAJ, Albania, SOC ; Ms Yuliya L'OVOCHKINA, Ukraine, SOC ; Ms Antigoni LYMPERAKI, Greece, SOC ; Mr Philippe MAHOUX, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Marit MAIJ, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Vesna MARJANOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Mr Jean-Claude MIGNON, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrei NEGUTA, Republic of Moldova, SOC ; Mr Florin Costin PÂSLARU, Romania, SOC ; Ms Lia QUARTAPELLE PROCOPIO, Italy, SOC ; Ms Carmen QUINTANILLA, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr René ROUQUET, France, SOC ; Mr Joseph SAMMUT, Malta, SOC ; Ms Milena SANTERINI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Axel SCHÄFER, Germany, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Andreas SCHIEDER, Austria, SOC ; Mr Frithjof SCHMIDT, Germany, SOC ; Ms Elisabeth SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Switzerland, EPP/CD ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Mr Dmytro SHPENOV, Ukraine, EC ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Petra De SUTTER, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Damien THIÉRY, Belgium, ALDE ; Mr Petrit VASILI, Albania, SOC ; Mr Francesco VERDUCCI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Klaas de VRIES, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Nataša VUČKOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC

The current refugee crisis in Europe has put the spotlight on the challenges faced by thousands of people fleeing from war and persecution.

Women face discrimination and particular hardship before, during and after their journey. Rape as a war weapon is pervasively used by Isis. Women and girls are abducted and sold into sexual slavery. Awareness of this scourge is increasing locally, as the stigma surrounding survivors is fading, and internationally. Sexual and physical violence, as survivors testify, are also a regular feature of the journey, whether across the Mediterranean or on land.

In the country of refuge, the vulnerable situation of asylum seekers exposes girls and women to increased risks of abuse in various forms including coercion, extortion by persons in authority, sex for survival and forced prostitution. UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency, found that refugee women and girls face sexual and physical abuse at endemic levels everywhere. They are discriminated against in legal systems, in access to work permits, at health centres and in schools.

The Parliamentary Assembly should pay attention to the vulnerable situation of refugee women and the widespread discrimination against them. They should have access to gender-sensitive asylum procedures and support services, as required by the Istanbul Convention. The Assembly should adopt relevant texts to provide member States with indications on how to prevent and address discrimination on grounds of sex among asylum seekers in Europe.