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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

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Topic guides for refugee charities

Clifford Chance lawyers and business professionals across our global network are engaged in incredibly meaningful and impactful pro bono and community outreach work that supports the advancement of women’s rights and helps tackle gender inequality.

As part of the firm’s International Women’s Day celebrations, Accelerate>>>, Clifford Chance’s global gender parity group, is shining a spotlight on some of that work.

Here we bring you the details of Clifford Chance’s work with Refugee Action in producing ‘topic guides’ relating to gender persecution in five countries. The guides are being drafted by a team of trainees, led by Anna Simpson. Organisations such as Refugee Action will use them when assisting women fleeing persecution who are seeking asylum in the UK.

The guides

The team are drafting five separate gender persecution guides, one for each of Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria and Afghanistan. The guides will be used as an authoritative resource on gender-based violence facing women around the world, which will assist Refugee Action and other asylum organisations in substantiating victims’ claims for asylum in the UK.

The guides also offer caseworkers advice on UK asylum case law and UK Home Office guidance with respect to gender based persecution. The guides are each divided into four topics: honour killings, forced marriage, domestic violence and female genital mutilation. They provide media reports, reports by NGOs and academic journals to support the prevalence of these forms of persecution in the given country. Each guide also explains how the conditions for refugee status set out in the Refugee Convention can be met by victims of gender based violence.

Read together, the guides expose shocking details of the violence facing women around the world, including that 70% of women in parts of rural Iraq have been subjected to female genital mutilation and that 42% of households in Afghanistan have a family member who was married as a child.

Making a difference

Against a background of legal aid cuts in asylum cases, charities like Refugee Action make an invaluable contribution to supporting asylum seekers arriving in the UK. Clifford Chance’s work on the gender persecution guides will support caseworkers in their efforts to ensure that female asylum seekers fleeing gender based violence can find safety in the UK.