European & International News

Gender-sensitive asylum policies crucial for protection of women’s human rights, MEPs hear

[Brussels, 23 January 2013] On monday 21 January, the GENSEN report "Gender-related asylum claims in Europe: A comparative analysis of law, policies and practice focusing on women in nine EU Member States" was presented to the EP Femm Committee.

This report, which was released in may 2012, provides a comparative analysis of laws, procedures, reception and detention conditions of asylum-seekers in nine EU countries (France, Belgium, Hungary, Italia, Malta, Romania, Spain, Sweden and United-Kingdom). The research was conducted by Asylum Aid, France Terre d’Asile, the Spanish Commission for Refugees, the Italian Council for Refugees and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. It is incorporated in the framework of the GenSen project which is funded by the European Commission through the European refugee fund.

The original version of the report was first launched at the European Parliament in May 2012.

Last monday, Debora Singer (Asylum aid) and Elodie Soulard (France Terre d’Asile) presented the report to the FEMM Committee. Among the main findings of the research, they highlight the fact that women make up one third of asylum seekers in Europe. France and Sweden are the countries receiving the highest rate of demands from women.

The report provides also examples of good and bad practices. For example, a leaflet published by Belgium dedicated to women and young women asylum-seekers and translated in seven languages was highlighted as a good practice. On the other side, bad practices on the lack of available information have been underlined.

The report concludes in general in huge disparities in the application of gender-sensitive policies. Binding legislation are lacking. When guidelines are edited by countries, they are not fully applied in practice.

To finish, some recommendations are provided as a conclusion. Among them, the researchers speak in favor of a gender-sensitive interpretation of the Geneva Convention and of the Common European Asylum System.

The report is available in its original version here (in English).

The version published by the European Parliament is available in English and French.

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