Asylum Aid is a charity dedicated to protecting people seeking refuge in the UK from persecution abroad. It was concerned that women and girls claiming asylum in the UK, many of whom have been raped or subject to violence, are not being treated with the sensitivity and respect the Foreign Office promotes around the world for women from conflict situations.
The charity launched the Protection Campaign to pressure the Home Office into treating traumatised female asylum seekers with greater sensitivity.
It said women shouldn’t have to tell their story in front of their children, shouldn’t have a male interviewer if they are not comfortable, should be given more information about their rights and should have access to counselling where needed.
The Red Brick Road devised a campaign calling on the public to send postcards to their local MPs, which were then delivered to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to make the Home Office reassess how women seeking asylum in the UK are treated.
In total, 1,223 signatures were collected through postcards and a digital hub. As a result Sarah Rapson, director general, UK Visas & Immigration, publicly supported the demands. Crucially the Home Office created a new Woman’s Asylum Plan, demonstrating that it is committed to addressing Asylum Aid’s demands.
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