Women exposed to violence can get EU refugee status, rules court

Brussels, Jan 16 (EFE).- A European Union court Tuesday ruled that women could be given refugee status from the bloc if they face gender-based violence in their home countries.

The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice said women qualified for refugee status if “they are exposed, on account of their gender, to physical or mental violence, including sexual violence and domestic violence” in their country of origin.

If the conditions for granting refugee status are not satisfied, the women can be given subsidiary protection if they are at “risk of being killed or subjected to violence.”

The court was responding to a Bulgarian court, which had sought a clarification on the EU’s international protection law that provides refugee status to third-country nationals or stateless persons.

In the ruling, the court said a Turkish woman of Kurdish origin had filed for international protection in Bulgaria.

The woman claimed “that she was forced to marry by her family and was beaten and threatened by her husband (and) feared for her life if she had to return to Turkey.”

The EU grants refugee status to third-country nationals in cases of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a certain social group, or political opinions.

Subsidiary protection is provided when a person does not meet the requirements to be a refugee but for whom there are reasonable grounds to believe that if they return to their home country, the person would face a risk of inhuman treatment or even execution. EFE


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