This Legal Note outlines the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protections afforded to refugee women and children. The ECHR is an international treaty that protects the fundamental civil and political rights of individuals in countries that belong to the Council of Europe. Women and child refugees and asylum seekers are particularly vulnerable to human rights violations due to heightened risk of human trafficking and exploitation, unlawful detention in unsuitable conditions and, sometimes, FGM. Although the ECHR does not provide for any specific protections for women and children refugees and asylum seekers, the European Court of Human Rights has developed a number of such protections through its jurisprudence. The Legal Note discusses these matters in further detail and considers, in particular, challenges to access to justice and accountability.
Keywords: women, children, gender, trafficking, refugee, asylum, protection, impunity, legislation, human rights, FGM, ECHR, ECtHR, European Convention on Human Rights