Rights & Justice

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Around the world, women and children undertake perilous journeys in search of safety. All individuals have the right to seek asylum. Many nations, however, attempt to prevent refugees from reaching their borders; detain those who arrive in facilities that violate their human rights and expose them to gender-based violence; and make it difficult for them to access legal protections.

Even countries that open their borders in humanitarian emergencies often limit or prohibit refugees from legal employment, access to health care and education.

Gender discrimination tends to travel with refugees and to be exacerbated in displacement. Nationality laws that prohibit women from conferring their citizenship to their children and spouses increases vulnerability, ensuring even fewer rights and less opportunity for some refugees.

Governments have a legal obligation to provide refugees and asylum-seekers with a humane reception, both during flight and upon arrival in a host country. All those seeking protection have the right to transparency from the agencies designated to ensure their safety and well-being. They have a right to full access to the legal and judicial systems that govern their ability to rebuild their lives.

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Crossing borders in search of safety is not illegal.