Joint Committee On Human Rights Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

32.  Memorandum from Welsh Women's Aid—Cymorth I Fenywod

  Welsh Women's Aid is an All Wales organisation that provides information and support services to affiliated Women's Aid groups throughout Wales, who offer direct support and information to Women and children experiencing and escaping Domestic Violence and Abuse.

  Welsh Women's Aid would support the need for a Commission in the UK, agreeing with the position that it could be used as an informative body, ensuring that human rights are protected. We would also support the work of the Commission in respect of working with existing Commissions on Equality, but feel that the role of a Human Rights Commission should have a wider remit than the existing Commissions. Welsh Women's Aid feels that a Human Rights Commission could be an enabling body, in the protection of the rights of women and children experiencing violence and abuse from known partners and ex-partners, within the term domestic violence.

  In addition, the Commission could provide information on Human Rights in order to challenge illegal or inappropriate practices, whereby women and children are denied access to services, medial assistance, housing and benefits due to their being resident in Women's Aid Refuges (temporary housing with support). In addition children being denied access to education, with the interviewing of mothers etc again due to residency within a refuge.

  In addition to the need for a Commission for the UK, it is felt that there is a need for Wales to have its own Human Rights Commission. In many ways Wales is different to the rest of the UK, having its own culture and language, as well as other cultures and languages. Wales also has its own Assembly, through devolution, which highlights the need for different approaches, policies and different solutions within Wales as a whole.

28 June 2001

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