Asylum Aid wholly supports IC Change’s campaign calling for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women and Girls.

The strength of the Convention lies in the fact that it clearly recognises the rights of women escaping gender-based violence and seeking protection in another country. We particularly support the Convention’s acknowledgement that women have the right to protection from violence, regardless of their immigration status.

As well as political persecution, many of the women who claim asylum in the UK are fleeing forms of gendered violence such as rape, domestic violence, forced marriage, FGM, honour crimes or persecution because of their sexuality. Many come from countries where there are no laws against these human rights abuses or the laws are not enforced.

However, the rights of women seeking asylum are all too often missed out of national and international protocols and strategies – as the Women’s Asylum Charter campaign to close the Protection Gap demonstrates.

The Istanbul Convention is one of the few protocols that links the issue of violence against women and the protection of women seeking asylum.

It’s time to close the protection gap and stop women seeking asylum being missed out. All women deserve protection. It’s time for the Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention.