Hamburg, 16 December 2016 – Women and girls fleeing from war, persecution and violence in their home countries are particularly at risk of sexual and gender-based violence during their journey to safety and when they arrive in the European Union. In advance of International Migrants Day on 18 December, the World Future Council, filia.die frauenstiftung and UN Women National Committee Germany launch a report on good practices to better protect refugee women and girls in the EU.
Hamburg/New York/Geneva, 16 September 2016: On Monday, 19 September, for the first time in the history of the United Nations, Heads of States and Governments will address the large movements of refugees and migrants at a high-level summit during the General Assembly. The milestone event aims to strengthen governance of international migration and create a more humane and coordinated system.
More than 21 million people were forced to leave their countries in 2015, over half of whom are under the age of 18. In just five years, the number of child refugees has risen by 77 per cent, while the proportion of women refugees reached 47% in 2015.
María Fernanda Espinosa, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Nations in Geneva and Co-Chair of the Ending Violence against Women and Girls Commission, World Future Council, says: “Refugee women and children face various security risks at every stage of their journey. They are still not sufficiently protected and often do not even find adequate support, such as psychosocial assistance, in their destination countries. We therefore call on world leaders to tackle this serious challenge and take effective and binding measures to ensure the safety of refugee women and children.”
In an appeal to the governments and institutions of the world published in March 2016, the World Future Council called for rigorous measures to protect refugee women and children from violence. The WFC is currently putting together a report on best practices to protect refugee women and children against violence to promote existing and proven practices. The report is expected to be published at the end of the year.
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Hamburg, March 7, 2016: In a powerful joint statement, members of the World Future Council are calling on governments, international organizations, humanitarian actors and civil society to step up action to protect refugee women, children and unaccompanied minors from violence.
The Council of Europe Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive international human rights treaty on violence against women and domestic violence. This legally binding instrument explicitly defines violence against women as a human rights violation and a form of gender-based discrimination and includes a strong emphasis on prevention and survivors’ rights. In addition to Council of Europe Member States, it can be ratified by the European Union and is open for accession by any State in the world.
The Istanbul Convention reflects a comprehensive approach covering the areas of prevention, protection (including provision of support services for survivors), prosecution, and coordinated policies. In addition to its focus on survivors’ rights and protection, it also encourages action over the longer term through prevention measures, and requires the establishment of specialised institutions, partnerships, substantial budget allocations and data collection to ensure effective implementation.
As of May 2016, more than three-quarters (42 of 47) of the countries that are Council of Europe members have signed the Convention and 22 of them have also ratified it: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.
The European Commission proposed on 4 March 2016 the European Union’s accession to the Convention. The Istanbul Convention would become the second human rights treaty binding the EU, after the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The EU would accede to the Convention alongside EU Member States. As of May 2016, 14 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) have already ratified the Convention. A further 14 Member States have signed it but not yet ratified.
London/Hamburg, February 5, 2015: In a powerful joint statement, 37 members of the World Future Council are calling on governments to step up action to end the widespread violation of women and girls’ human rights. As the world marks the annual International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on February 6, signatories including Dr. Auma Obama, US actress Daryl Hannah and environmental activist Vandana Shiva urge world leaders to introduce comprehensive legal and policy measures that effectively prevent FGM/C, address its consequences and hold perpetrators accountable.
Geneva – 14 October 2015: The “Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence” by the City of Duluth in the US State of Minnesota is the winner of the 2014 Future Policy Award for Ending Violence against Women and Girls. It beat 24 other nominated policies to the prize. The Gold Award is to be presented to Minnesota Representative Michael Paymar from the Minnesota House of Representatives today at a ceremony in Geneva by the World Future Council, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women.
World Future Council partners with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women to highlight solutions to a global human rights emergency
Press release – for immediate release