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Campaigning and Lobbying

Press Releases

Forced Marriage should be criminalise as much as trafficking and other sexual exploitation of women and young girls...Read more

 

Campaigning Skills Training with the Refugee Council & the No Recourse to Public Funds Campaign

This project has been a fantastic opportunity for two member of the KMEWO team to learn new skills.  As a result of the support we have received from the Refugee Council, we were empowered to being raising the issue of No Recourse to Public funds and its devastating effect on the lives of many of our Kurdish and Middle Eastern clients who enter the UK on a spousal visa, are subjected to domestic violence but are unable to access a refuge because they have no recourse to public funds.  These women are faced with the choice of either remaining in an abusive relationship or becoming destitute. 

In 4 November 2009, KMEWO contributed to the Amnesty International campaign initiative on this issue and joined a mass lobby of Parliament.  We met with Sarah Teather MP and discussed of no recourse to public funds rule with her.  She agreed to follow-up a number of points that were raised.

The no recourse to public funds rule has long been campaigned against by many womens rights organisations however on 11 November 2009, a few days after the mass lobby,  Home Office Minister Alan Campbell MP announced a three-month pilot scheme to grant women facing violence and who have insecure immigration status the ability to access a refuge and seek specialised support. This pilot proposal will provide the security of funding a woman’s refuge place for up to 40 days and enabling her to access the support required by survivors of domestic or other violence. This government initiative will be followed by an evaluation which will be carried out in March 2010.  This government initiative has been cautiously welcomed by many womens rights organisations as at the very least a step in the right direction. 

Nevertheless, this initiative is only a short term pilot scheme, and the funding of a woman’s refuge place will be provided for no more than 40 days, whereas cases can take between 6 months and 2 years to resolve. What is required is a long-term, sustainable, funded and enforceable guarantee that all women, including no recourse women, will be equally able to access safety and justice when fleeing violence. The Minister Alan Campbell stated that this pilot will serve to inform the government towards developing a longer-term solution to this issue.

KMEWO in line with other women’s, refugee and human rights organisations looks forward to policies being put into place backed up by secure statutory funding to tackle violence against women including those subject to no recourse to public funds rule.

 

Links to Further Information on No Recourse to Public Funds:

Amnesty International UK, Mass Lobby of Parliament, November 2009

No Recourse, No Safety, Amnesty International & Southall Black Sisters, March 2008