Today, on the 20th of June 2017 marks this years’ World Refugee Day, and the IARS would like to invite you to celebrate the resilience and courage of refugees during this week. The refugee week is about recognising refugees’ contribution to our communities and within the UK as a whole. Here at IARS we are committed to empowering refugees through making their voices heard and raising awareness for the protection and safe guarding of their rights.

The IARS is committed to supporting refugee women with our Women’s Advisory Board (WAB) which consists of 10 refugee women, part of the Comic Relief funded Gender and Justice Empowerment project. The WAB creates a space for self-care and a platform to be heard and valued as refugee women. 

Let’s use this Refugee week as an opportunity to look at refugee’s stories, the issues they face and the ways in which we can help protecting their rights:

Comic relief E-learning course on the experiences of refugee women

Our Comic relief funded online training aims at empowering professionals from healthcare staff to Religious Organisations in order to better understand the unique experiences of asylum seeking women most at risk of victimisation. The training also uniquely combines the first hand narratives and experiences of refugee and asylum seeking women in the UK and information regarding the legislation in place that directly affects them. As well as all the ways professionals can adequately provide support to these women.  At IARS we aim for the training to provide sound information which educates and raises awareness of the reality of refugee experiences.  You can access the online training here: http://www.iars.org.uk/training/

The IARS women’s advisory board manifesto for the UK Ratification of the Istanbul Convention

The Women’s Advisory board have drafted their manifesto in light of the recent decision concerning the Ratification of the Istanbul Convention. The manifesto draws attention to the non-discriminatory framework which cites that ‘the rights of victims, shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as […] migrant or refugee status’ This non-discriminatory approach is highly welcomed by the WAB and they  urge for others to disseminate this manifesto through to other individuals and organisations.  We hope that the government will be fully able to implement this plan in order to guarantee that refugee women will be protected and their rights as victims will be properly recognised and upheld. 

The full version of the manifesto can be viewed here

The shorter version is also available to download here

Refugee Women’s Stories

Refugee women are a particularly vulnerable group in British society and often find that their experiences of being a refugee is more pronounced due to the intersection of racial and gender inequalities. The IARS’ unique and effective user led project ‘Abused No More’ aims at increasing gender sensitivity in the asylum process through developing a training that comes from their own experiences.  The videos reiterate the difficulties faced by refugee women as well as exploring the difficulties refugee women face in receiving proper health care and adequate legal support. By documenting this we aim to facilitate a renewed dialogue concerning the rights of refugees along with spreading more awareness of the given issues surrounding refugee women who are especially vulnerable.

You can watch the stories of some of the refugee women that we work with here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLopAzlC4TM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycbCCv_o77U

CALL FOR ACTION

We want your help in amplifying the voices of refugees in the UK! We urge for organisations professionals and anyone who can contribute to making refugee voices heard and valued:

·         Complete our online training to learn about the experiences of refugee women and their rights

·         Share and publish the Women’s Advisory Board’s Manifesto on any social media platform and news outlet  

·         Forward the Manifesto to your elected MP and ask them to commit with refugee women’s rights and the Istanbul Convention