Image Credit : Free Range Stock – Geoffrey Whiteway

In a Report published today, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCRT) warns that the government could harm its international reputation by failing to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention).

The JCRT, concludes that the government’s work on tackling violence against women and girls abroad is not translating into its domestic policy.

The Committee highlights a number of concerns, identified by the AIRE Centre in submissions made to the JCRT last year, including the failure to provide adequate refuge spaces and specialist services for victims of violence against women and girls.

What are the main issues facing European Economic Area (EEA) migrants?

EEA nationals, who have rights of entry and residence stemming from Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), and who then victims of domestic violence, are frequently left in unsupported situations.

In the AIRE Centre’s experience many EEA nationals (and their children) who suffer domestic violence continue to be refused access to certain vital public funds in the UK on the grounds that they do not have a ‘right to reside’. This refusal leads to their exclusion from domestic violence refuges and from access to basic benefits. It also represents a serious threat to the lives and health, given that these women who, having lived for many months or years in the UK and in some cases having British Citizen children, are then faced with the choice of returning to an abusive partner or becoming homeless or destitute.

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