Human Rights: Women Must Get the Right and the Opportunity to Asylum in Europe.

Worldwide, women are at least as often seeking protection as men. Same applies in the Greater Middle East, especially in Syria, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, where many humans are fleeing from persecution, wars, brutality, expulsion and suffering. However, of the refugees from the region to Europe, according to international organizations, men constitute the vast majority with about three-quarters. [1] By contrast, more than one generation of young women receive no chance upon their human rights from Europe.

The key point: The consequence of this extreme inequality in the opportunity to seek refuge must not be to limit the human rights of the one group, but instead must be to strengthen the rights of women, to support them specifically, and to remove their disadvantage. This means that the right to request asylum in Europe must be granted to women proactively. Namely with secure paths of refuge to Europe, and as a in practice, de facto usable, immediately available, human right for them. Women must be able to claim this right together with their families, but also individually, autonomously, and without depending on men. Women Refugees Welcome (Bring Your Families). Only if discrimination is met head-on, human rights will actually apply to everyone.

In particular, Germany, as a publicly self-praising, influential country with wide-ranging options for action by policy and economic relations, as well as one of the most frequent target of the refugees, must be obliged to act according to human rights (of course this must be the claim of the EU, of all human rights-based countries such as the USA, and of international institutions as well). But contrary to this, Germany and the EU show a serious ignorance of women’s rights, which affects the whole course of the refugee path. The total lack of an active commitment to equality and women’s rights by Germany and the EU has grave consequences in a sustained, long-term discrimination against women.

The lack of commitment to human rights of women does not only affect the possibility of women to seek protection in Europe, but also the safety of women on the refugee routes, and in shelters in Europe and in the conflict region and its surrounding countries. Especially and particularly frequently and intensively against women, there are assaults, violence, including sexual violence, and extortion by officials, by coyotes, by other refugees — in shelters in Germany, in Europe, on the whole course of the refugee routes to Europe, within Europe, as well as (sexual) harassment in shelters in the conflict region and its surroundings. [1, 2, 3] There is a deficiency in averting the drastic dangers against women, and more generally in the dangers for all refugees.

Specific proposals for improving the situation: The establishment of safe, legal refugee corridors under the rule of law from the conflict region to Germany and Europe. In this way, also humans who are discriminated against, such as women, and vulnerable people, such as children, are able to exercise their human right to asylum. The refugee routes must allow to seek refuge regardless of gender association. The massive, already long-time-existing, discrimination against female refugees must be ended through specific, immediate action for women. This can be done by the option of applying for asylum locally on site, in the conflict region, in the refugee camps and shelters in the surrounding countries, in embassies or similar establishments, and with the use of regular travel routes by aircraft, ships and ferries. Furthermore, funding and international agreements need to be set up in order to build institutional structures to strengthen women’s rights and to secure a life in human dignity, in all shelters, in Germany, in Europe, in the region, and on the whole refugee route. On the one hand, these structures have the task to heighten awareness and sensitization against discrimination and misogyny: for all involved border guards, police, security services, government officials, managers, supervisors, workers and refugees. On the other hand, these structures must be able to actively intervene against anti-women attacks, against discrimination, against violence, and to prevent them. The aim is the actual protection of human rights for all, for every single human being, which is the most important element of a progressive, liberal, globally thinking society.

Important reading and sources:

[1] Katrin Bennhold, The New York Times, 2 January 2016:
On Perilous Migrant Trail, Women Often Become Prey to Sexual Abuse

[2] Jina Moore, Buzzfeed, 21 October 2015:
Women Refugees Fleeing Through Europe Are Told Rape Is Not A Real Issue

[3] Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, 8 July 2014:
Syria’s female refugees facing poverty, harassment and isolation

Auf Deutsch lesen.

This work by Michelson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

One thought on “Human Rights: Women Must Get the Right and the Opportunity to Asylum in Europe.

  1. Pingback: Menschenrechte: Frauen müssen das Recht auf Flucht und Asyl erhalten. |

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