Manchester Metropolitan University

Helping immigrant women escape violence

Conference to help raise awareness of available aid

WOMEN in need are often sent away from charities and town halls because of a lack of awareness about rights for immigrants.

A conference to be held at MMU next week will look at the challenges of securing human rights for immigrant women who are experiencing violence.

MP Kate Green (Shadow Minister for Equalities) will be speaking at the event, which is organised by Safety 4 Sisters Northwest, and also features talks by MMU law lecturer Dr Kate Cook.

The conference will discuss the rights of immigrant women who are in the UK and experiencing violence, but who are afraid to leave because their immigration status means they have few rights. This could include women who have been trafficked into the sex industry, or women who have entered the country illegally with their partners.

Raising awareness

Many of these women do not know their immigration status, are aware that their application for asylum has failed or are European citizens who don’t yet have automatic rights in the UK, for example women who have come from Poland.

Dr Cook said: “We wanted to raise awareness of the support that is available. Often women are sent away from the usual sources of support but there are things including the Sojourners’ Project and Community Care Law that can make help possible.”

Other speakers include Liliana Keith, from PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants), Tahira Parveen-Finney, from Independent Choices, Vicky Marsh from Safety4Sisters, Jackie Mason from South Manchester Law Centre, Liz Perry from Pannone LLP and Mina Nasir, Domestic Violence Coordinator at Rochdale Women’s Welfare Association.

The conference is aimed at academics, practitioners (legal, police, local authority, social services) and voluntary sector organisations, in particular women’s refuges.


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