Victims of sexual violence are not defined as refugees by the refugee convention. If you are not defined as a refugee, you cannot get asylum. Consequently, victims of sexual violence face huge obstacles getting asylum all over the world. This is the case for Congolese women being raped by government soldiers. The Congolese government use rape as a military strategy against women and children.
Despite the fact that these women due to European Union law are being defined as refugees in all countries of the EU, several EU countries deport Congolese women to a government that rapes them. Sweden, a country famous for welcoming refugees with open arms, has been deporting victims of sexual violence for over 12 years. The United Nations has several times stated that deportations of women to Congo-Kinshasa is an act of torture (non-refoulment, art. 3 Convention against Torture). Despite the fact that the UN not once – but twice – has stated that Sweden is breaching the Convention Against Torture by deporting Congolese women, Sweden continues to deport rape victims to Congo-Kinshasa. Unfortunately, this is not just the case in Sweden. Many other countries, including the United Kingdom, Finland and the United States, have for many years been deporting victims of sexual violence as a weapon of war to the hands of the Congolese government.
As girls, as women we do not feel safe in a society where our fellow women, our sisters, are being deported to countries where the government use rape as a weapon of war. This is not an issue for black women, nor is it a question about migration rights. It is a question about every woman’s fundamental rights. Share #oursisters on social media and read more about this project, the situation in DRC/Congo-Kinshasa and migration laws discriminating against women.