Scrap ‘safe country’ list, urges charity

Asylum Aid has urged the government to abandon its safe country
list after it emerged that women were facing human rights abuses in
countries deemed safe by the Home Office.

Albania, Jamaica and Ukraine are among 24 countries on the Home
Office’s “safe country list” even though lesbian women in Jamaica
have been cut, raped, burned and shot on account of their

In a report launched to coincide with Refugee Week, the charity
highlights instances where girls who have been trafficked from
Albania are returned to family members who trafficked them in the
first place. Perpetrators of domestic violence in Ukraine can cite
the victim’s behaviour in provoking outbreaks as an excuse for

Maurice Wren, co-ordinator of Asylum Aid, accused the Home Office
of failing to recognise the specific risks women face. “This
research demonstrates that countries which the Home Office asserts
are safe may be anything but safe for women.”

Meanwhile, a separate report from campaign groups including Refugee
Council and Amnesty International says that Home Office figures
reveal that three out of four asylum applications in Britain are
made by people fleeing countries in conflict.

“Refugees are people forced to flee their homes in fear of their
lives – this is a fact that is too often overlooked,” said Maeve
Sherlock, Refugee Council chief executive, speaking on behalf all
the agencies.

 Fleeing the Fighting: How conflict drives the search for
from and
Safe for Whom? from

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