The global refugee crisis is not only a major challenge for governments around the world, it also aggravates another, less visible, but equally disturbing global phenomenon: violence against refugee women,” said PACE’s General Rapporteur on Violence against Women Sahiba Gafarova (Azerbaijan, EC), denouncing the “double violence” they too often suffer.
Speaking on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), she said: “Many women flee their homes in the North and sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East to escape poverty or a violent family environment, thus embarking on a journey filled with terror. Violence against women during a clandestine journey, or behind the closed doors of detention centres, occurs far too frequently and should be of huge concern to us all – not only once a year on 25 November, but every day.”
Ms Gafarova added: “We, as parliamentarians, have a key role to play. We should raise our voices on behalf of all the victims of violence, in Europe and elsewhere, and prevent their suffering from multiple violence, in their country of origin, during the journey and in host countries. We must ensure that women victims of violence that we receive in our countries are not returned to any country where their lives would be at risk or where they might be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. We have a responsibility to trigger change, by calling for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention and above all by ensuring that this convention and the values it encompasses are duly implemented.”
“All women must be respected, taken into consideration and offered a life free from fear and violence. Wherever they are on this globe, we should not let them be forgotten,” she concluded.