As part of our Gender and Justice Empowerment Project, the IARS has just joined the UK chapter of the European Campaign Step Up Migrant Women. In our effort to safeguard and advocate for the rights of migrant and refugee women, it is imperative that we join our forces with other fierce organizations and groups to have our demands met. The Step Up Migrant Women UK brings together more than 27 BME women and migrant organisations to campaign and lobby for policy changes to protect and remove barriers to safety for migrant women survivors of violence, especially those with insecure and precarious immigration status.

The UK government’s ‘hostile environment’ policies hit migrant women the hardest and puts their rights at risk. Migrant women with insecure legal status reporting VAWG and crime are at risk of their details being shared for immigration control purposes since there is no clear separation between the police and immigration enforcement. Currently, there is lack of safe-reporting mechanisms, which creates a barrier for migrant women seeking support to flee violence and gives greater impunity to perpetrators.

Through involvement in research, consultation and advocacy and campaign activities, Step Up Migrant Women aim to increased participation and empowerment of migrant women in voicing their concerns in strategies, influencing policy at local and national level. The campaign ultimate aim is to secure safe reporting mechanisms and work towards the establishment of a firewall at the levels of policy and practice that separates immigration control and reporting from support services to victims of crime.

That said, IARS is extremely excited to join the campaign coalition and to work together for the rights of refugee and migrant women!

To read more about this campaign please access the website: http://www.lawrs.org.uk/step-up-migrant-women-uk-because-all-women-have-the-right-to-a-life-free-of-violence/