The sexual assaults that marred New Year celebrations in Cologne and other cities across Germany, mostly perpetrated by young male immigrants from Syria and Iraq, is sadly nothing new.
According to a new report by Amnesty International (AI), women travelling in company with male asylum seekers have been subjected to sickening intimidation all along the immigration trail.
AI reveals that women and girl refugees face violence, assault, exploitation and sexual harassment at every stage of their journey. As Breitbart London has reported, the overwhelming majority of asylum seekers are fit young males, thus making the odds of assault even higher for the few women who take the chance of leaving North Africa for Europe.
Seventy-two per cent of travelling asylum seekers are adult men, while just 13 per cent are women and 15 per cent are children, the U.N. has calculated, based on reports from governments and the media.
AI has now confirmed that such vast numbers of men travelling in isolated groups deliver social consequences. The organisation interviewed 40 refugee women and girls last month who travelled from Turkey to Greece and then across the Balkans to Germany.
All the women described feeling threatened and unsafe during the journey. Many reported that in almost all of the countries they passed through they experienced physical abuse and financial exploitation from their male travelling companions, being groped or pressured to have sex by smugglers and other refugees, as reported previously by Breitbart London.
“After living through the horrors of the war in Iraq and Syria these women have risked everything to find safety for themselves and their children. But from the moment they begin this journey they are again exposed to violence and exploitation, with little support or protection,” said Tirana Hassan, AI’s Crisis Response director.
Women and girls travelling alone and those accompanied only by their children felt particularly under threat in transit areas and camps in Hungary, Croatia and Greece, where they were forced to sleep alongside hundreds of men. In some instances women left the designated areas to sleep in the open on the beach because they felt safer there.
Women also reported having to use the same bathroom and shower facilities as men. One woman told AI that in a reception centre in Germany some men would watch women as they went to the bathroom. Some women took extreme measures such as not eating or drinking to avoid having to go to the toilet where they felt unsafe.
“If this humanitarian crisis was unfolding anywhere else in the world we would expect immediate practical steps to be taken to protect groups most at risk of abuse, such as women travelling alone and female-headed families. At a minimum, this would include setting up single sex, well-lit toilet facilities and separate safe sleeping areas. These women and their children have fled some of the world’s most dangerous areas and it is shameful that they are still at risk on European soil,” said Ms. Hassan.
Breitbart London has reported on the sheer scale of the human tide moving into Europe, and the warnings given by political leaders about the outcomes that lie ahead.
Just last September Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned that ‘uncountable millions’ of migrants from the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa are on the way and the EU should get ready to meet the crisis sooner rather than later.
Sadly, for women in Europe in general and asylum seekers in general, that warning has come too late.
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