Hostile environment / Women's rights

Liberty response to report from the joint Parliamentary Committee on the draft domestic abuse Bill

Posted on 18 Jun 2019

The parliamentary committee tasked with scrutinising the draft Domestic Abuse Bill has recommended the Government puts into law a number of measures advocated by Liberty to protect migrant survivors.

In its report last week, the pre-legislative committee said the Bill will be a “missed opportunity” if it does not cover migrant survivors of domestic abuse, and includes Liberty’s call for a firewall between public services and immigration enforcement.

Zehrah Hasan, Policy and Campaigns Assistant said: “We are extremely pleased to see the committee echo our calls for this Bill to include vital protections for migrant survivors of domestic abuse.. And the recommendation to create a firewall between public services and immigration enforcement is a significant step towards ensuring all survivors and people with insecure immigration status can report crimes without fear.

“We also welcome recommendations to strengthen protections against discrimination, and to include types of gender-based violence that disproportionately impact BAME and migrant women in the legal definition of domestic abuse.

“But only comprehensive legislative reform can make sure this new law protects all migrant women, regardless of their immigration status. That’s why we urge the Government to go further still – by extending eligibility for the Domestic Violence Rule and Destitution Domestic Violence Concession, and taking steps so all survivors can access vital support services like refuge accommodation, by exempting migrant survivors from the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ condition.

“Liberty will continue to advocate for a Bill that both protects all survivors and is fit for purpose – to ensure this ‘landmark’ legislation is truly as transformative as it should be.”


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