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  • European Parliament Calls for GBV Prevention for Refugees

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    Statement by Sarah Costa, Executive Director

    The European Parliament this week passed a resolution calling for gender sensitivity in the asylum process by 388 votes to 150. The Women’s Refugee Commission, which has completed three assessment missions along the refugee route in Europe, is pleased to see our recommendations recognized by Parliament. Among them:

    • Protection and assistance for women and girls during their stay in refugee camps, at border controls and...after entering into the EU
    • Specialised trauma counselling and psychosocial care for women and girls who have experienced gender-based harm
    • Full access to sexual and reproductive health and rights

    Moreover, the resolution calls on Member States to duly inform women seeking asylum about their rights and in particular about the right to request a female interviewer and interpreter.

    Our most recent mission (February 15-26, 2016) to Germany and Sweden, where gender-based persecution is recognized as grounds for asylum, found that obstacles to a positive asylum decision are often exacerbated for women.

    It is our hope that this resolution can be translated into practice in EU Member States to improve the lives of refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls.