KHRP’s Managing Director is today delivering a seminar at the European Parliament in Brussels, on the situation of women in the Kurdish regions. The seminar is the third in the KHRP’s series of lunchtime seminars that have been hosted by Jean Lambert MEP and held at the Parliament. Today’s meeting is chaired by Franziska Keller MEP, member of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.
The seminar series seeks to draw attention to and discuss human rights issues in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. KHRP aims to bring together key members of the European Parliament to discuss areas of concern around human rights, the environment and regional security in the Kurdish regions. Past seminars have addressed the environmental impact of Turkey and Iran’s cross border military operations into Kurdistan Iraq and the situation of Internally Displaced Persons or IDPs throughout the regions.
The third seminar will discuss how women throughout the Kurdish regions are disproportionately affected by crimes against their person and their property, and continue to face a range of barriers to accessing legal remedies that are theoretically available to them. Issues to be addressed will include language barriers, a lack of awareness amongst women of their rights, severe failings in the provision of legal aid and medical examinations, and the routine failure of officials to take complaints by women seriously and to implement legislation intended to afford them protection.
The seminar seeks to provide recommendations on how state authorities, such as the police, legislators, prosecutors or judges, can increase their protection of women victims of discrimination and violence, and to consider potential action points for the European Union to take.
Managing Director Rachel Bernu noted, ‘Many women across the Kurdish regions are suffering from intolerable levels of discrimination and violence. The EU must engage with the governments in these regions to improve the situation of women and actively contribute to promoting their rights. In order to assist in this, these seminars are important for raising awareness in Europe on human rights issues, especially those of women, in the Kurdish areas.’