Friday, Apr 18th

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Immigration news

New plan to tackle violence against women and girls

Every year more than one million women experience domestic abuse in UK

Home Secretary Theresa May has launched an action plan to tackle violence against women and girls.

The 'Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls - Action Plan' was published alongside the government's response to Baroness Stern's review into the handling of rape complaints.

The action plans focuses on four key areas: the prevention of violence including reducing repeat victimisation, the provision of support, the bringing together of groups to work in partnership and action to reduce risk by ensuring perpetrators are brought to justice.

A new national stalking group will be formed to support the work of the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service in improving the police response to stalking and ensuring robust prosecutions.

Other key actions from the plan include campaigns to raise awareness of the law around sexual offences and challenge attitudes of abuse within teenage relationships; more training for key frontline professionals - including doctors, nurses, health visitors - on identifying and dealing with violence against women; and sustainable central funding for frontline services including rape crisis centres and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, and four years of funding for the National Domestic Violence Helpline.

The British Crime Survey reports that every year more than one million women experience domestic abuse and one in four women will be affected by domestic abuse. More than 300,000 women are sexually assaulted and 60,000 women raped; and more than one in 20 women will be stalked.

Ms. May said: "I want to see an end to all forms of violence against women and girls. Our comprehensive and detailed action plan sets out how we are going to tackle these crimes - supporting those at risk, helping victims and ensuring offenders are brought to justice.

"Most importantly we need to prevent these crimes occurring in the first place. That is why we are challenging and where necessary working to change, attitudes and behaviours."

Baroness Stern welcomed the government's response to the recommendations in her report. “Particularly in a time of financial stringency it is good that the government recognises the importance of a specialist and supportive response to rape victims."

The detailed action plan follows the Home Office's announcement of £28 million of funding until 2015 for tackling violence against women and girls and the Ministry of Justice announcement of more than £10.5 million of funding for three years for rape crisis services.

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Decreto flussi for seasonal workers: Prepare applications now

Employers interested in applying for authorisation to work (nulla osta) for non-EU foreign seasonal workers can now prepare their applications.

The newly approved Quota Agreement (Decreto flussi) allowing non-EU foreigners to come to Italy for seasonal work is yet to be published in the Official Gazette, but the government has made it possible for employers to start preparing their applications.

Some 60,000 seasonal workers will be allowed to come to Italy this year.

Workers from the following countries will be admitted for seasonal work: Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Philippines, Kosovo, Croatia, India, Ghana, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Gambia, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia, Albania, Morocco, Moldavia and Egypt.

The employer can either personally prepare the online application, or seek the help of Benevolent Institutions (Patronati).

If you choose to personally prepare your application, please log on to the website of Ministry of Home Affairs (www.interno.it), register by typing in your email address and password. You’ll then have access to the area reserved for applications. Once here please click on “richiesta moduli” (application forms) and choose “Richiesta di nulla osta al lavoro subordinato stagionale - Modulo C” (Application for authorisation for seasonal subordinate work – Form C).

You don’t need to download the software for preparing the applications. Just fill in the form online and save it. Then wait for the Quota Agreement to be published in the Official Gazette. Once the date has been set for submission of applications, retrieve your application and submit it on that date.

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Time to make the promise of equality a reality

Message from UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet on the occasion of International Women’s Day, 8 March 2011

A hundred years ago today, women across the world took an historic step on the long road to equality. The first ever International Women’s Day was called to draw attention to the unacceptable and often dangerous working conditions that so many women faced worldwide.

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60% of young women victims of sexist remarks or behaviour - poll

EQUALS campaign: “Gender-based stereotypes and assumptions still shape our daily lives”

At least 60% of young women (aged 15-30) have personally experienced sexist remarks or sexist behaviour in the UK, a new poll published today on the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day shows.

The poll also shows that nearly half of all women (47 per cent) in the UK do not believe they are treated equally to men.

However despite this sense of social inequality and first-hand experiences of sexism, only one in five women described themselves as feminists.
 
The survey of UK adults, conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of EQUALS – a coalition of agencies including ActionAid, Amnesty International, the Fawcett Society and Women’s Aid – revealed significant levels of inequality still exist between men and women in the UK.

Sixty per cent of young women surveyed have experienced sexist remarks and other forms of sexist behaviour whilst going about their daily lives, including being whistled at, having sexist comments directed at them, being touched inappropriately or being discriminated against because of gender.

The survey revealed that British women experienced this across a variety of places with the most likely being at work, in a pub, bar or club, at school, college or university and in the street.
 
Despite the recent media outcry over sexist remarks about a female football official by commentators Andy Gray and Richard Keys, the survey revealed that attitudes around gender stereotypes remain prevalent with 50 per cent of men and women surveyed believing a man would do a better job than a woman at refereeing the World Cup final. Only three per cent thought a woman would be better, although 45 per cent thought men and women would do just as good a job as each other.
 
Amnesty International’s UK Director Kate Allen said: “These worrying results have thrown a light on the wide chasm that still exists between men and women, despite the enormous social and economic progress made in the last century.
 
“Unless attempts are made to change such attitudes in every section of society some women will always be treated as second-class citizens. Amnesty International has found from its work that it is these negative views which in the most extreme instances can lead to abusive behaviour towards women and a basic denial of women’s rights.”

Many of the findings revealed that a majority of UK adults – both men and women – aspire to greater equality. However, despite the current division of labour in the workplace and at home, on the whole, women are seen as homemakers and men as the breadwinners.
 
Fifty seven per cent of people said women currently have more responsibility than men for child care. However 81 per cent believed that men and women should share responsibility equally.

Only two per cent of people said women currently have more responsibility than men for earning money for their family. Whilst 72 per cent believed that ideally responsibility should be shared equally, only 51 per cent said that this responsibility is currently shared equally.

Sixty four per cent of people said that currently women have more responsibility than men for keeping the home clean but 75 per cent believe responsibility for this household activity should be shared equally.

Only four per cent of people thought women should have responsibility for putting the bins out, with 30 per cent thinking men should shoulder the responsibility, but 65 per cent thinking it should be shared equally.
 
With women still shouldering a good deal of responsibility for managing the home and looking after the family, it is hardly surprising that the two greatest challenges facing women in Britain today were thought to be balancing family and work (58 per cent). The second biggest challenge was being judged on their appearance rather than what they do (22 per cent). In contrast the two greatest challenges thought to be facing women in developing countries were access to education (41 per cent) and access to health services (31 per cent).
 
ActionAid Director Sue Bishop said: “We commissioned this research to investigate whether the perception of an equal society is borne out by people’s actual experiences. We can see the stark differences between how people think things should be and what actually happens in reality. We know that women across the world are struggling to achieve their rights and we want women in the UK to join forces with women in developing countries to fight for a more equal world. After all if we are not equal everywhere we are not equal anywhere.”

Esme Peach, Coordinator of the EQUALS campaign, said: “Whilst we’ve come a long way in terms of equality between the sexes, gender-based stereotypes and assumptions still shape our daily lives. In 2011, we should be moving towards a society where a man’s role as a parent is valued just as much as a woman’s role as the breadwinner, and where men working as primary school teachers, or women working as plumbers, are commonplace.”

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Libyan crisis: IOM appeals for US$49.2 million

Libyan authorities urged to allow who want to leave safe passage out

IOM is appealing for US$49.2 million to assist migrants caught out by the violence in Libya and who are in dire need of evacuation and repatriation assistance.

The funds would allow the Organization to assist in the evacuation of up to 65,000 migrants caught up in the Libyan crisis, including groups still inside the country. The appeal would also enable IOM to continue providing humanitarian assistance including food, water, shelter, medical care and medical travel assistance to migrants who have fled Libya.

Despite the sharp drop in migrants crossing from Libya's borders in recent days, large numbers of migrants are still arriving at Ras Adjir at the Tunisian border and at Salum on the Egyptian border on a daily basis.

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