IKWRO urges government to cease Immigration Officers’ racist tactics which are creating climate of fear and putting vulnerable women and children at greater risk

05 August 2013 – IKWRO is disgusted by the racial profiling being used by Immigration Officers in recent weeks to search for “illegal” immigrants. Immigration Officers have been targeting people simply on the basis that they are not white. They have been stopping people on the streets and at underground and railway stations and have been raiding houses. They have been heavy handed in their approach. The result of these ill-conceived tactics is the creation of a climate of racism, hatred and fear.

IKWRO is extremely concerned that vulnerable women and children, including our clients, who are at risk of; female genital mutilation, ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage, child marriage and domestic violence are being placed in danger because they will see the UK authorities as force to fear, rather than a source of protection and will be dissuaded from seeking help.

Dianna Nammi, Executive Director of IKWRO says; ‘I condemn the Home Office campaign against “illegal” immigrants. I believe that their methods are breaching people’s human rights. People should be free to live without harassment and fear. The government has to find another way to locate “illegal” immigrants. I am very worried that vulnerable women and children who are at risk of gender based violence and who have insecure immigration status will be too scared to come forward and seek help. This cannot be allowed to happen.’

IKWRO calls on the government to immediately cease this action and to review its policies, taking into consideration the implications of its tactics upon society’s most vulnerable people.

Contact:

Diana Nammi, Executive Director, IKWRO

Tel: 078627 33511

Or Sara Browne, Campaign Officer, IKWRO

Tel: 0207 920 6460

Notes:

‘Honour’ based violence (HBV) is any act of violence, predominately against women and girls, which is committed by family or community member(s) in order to defend their perceived honour. HBV is normally collectively planned and carried out by the victim’s family, sometimes with the involvement of the wider community. It can take many forms including: ‘honour’ killing, forced marriage, rape, forced suicide, acid attacks, mutilation, imprisonment, abduction, beatings, death threats, blackmail, emotional abuse, surveillance, harassment and forced abortion.

IKWRO (Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation) is a registered charity which provides confidential advice, case work, support, outreach and counselling to Middle Eastern Women and girls (Iranian, Kurdish, Arab, Afghan and Turkish) living in the UK who are facing ‘Honour’ based violence, forced marriage and other forms of abuse. We also provide training for professionals and women, and campaign to raise awareness of issues such as ‘Honour’ based violence and to push for better protection for those at risk.

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