The Parlamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution calling for making the protection from gender-based violence for all refugees a priority – “irrespective of their status”. The resolution was based on the report “Protecting refugee women from gender-based violence” by Gisela Wurm (SOC, Austria). In this report, Wurm pointed out that though many refugee and asylum-seeker women and girls have been exposed to gender-based violence, this “gender dimension of the refugee crisis has been largely overlooked” and adequate protection measures are still lacking in most of the Council of Europe member states.

The Assembly stressed that the responsibility to help and protect asylum-seeker and refugee women is not limited to cases of violence perpetrated in destination countries. They should “receive adequate assistance to overcome the trauma they have experienced in their countries of origin or at times in transit”. This would also entail that all Council of Europe member states that have not yet done so should ratify he Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings “without further delay”.