Statement on the Illegal Migration Bill

Welsh Women’s Aid were devastated by the passing of the Illegal Migration Bill last night in the House of Lords. The Bill will now become law once it has undergone royal assent. 

This Bill is going to catastrophically impact women and children fleeing to the UK, due to the risk of serious harm and persecution in their home country.  

The ‘stop the small boats’ campaign by the government falls short of protecting vulnerable people who are exploited daily by criminal gangs. It fails to recognise the intense re-traumatisation survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence will face under such conditions and the exacerbation of individuals vulnerabilities that the Bill will allow for. 

The proposed Illegal Migration Bill will leave migrants who have little choice but to make these life-threatening crossings with no access to anti-slavery protections.  

We are concerned about the impact that this legislation will have on the many women and children that are forced to flee from their home countries. This will significantly impact those at risk of sexual exploitation and modern slavery, 70% of which are female. Female migrants will be left with even fewer options to escape gender-based violence.