Women volunteers of HRS participated in the Million Women Rise (MWR) March on the occasion of International Women’s Day (IWD). The action in London took place on Saturday, March 4th, to increase participation. The participants protested against the violence against women and the pushbacks during the march, which started at Duke Street and ended at Trafalgar Square. HRS participated in the march with the concept of a refugee boat and two female mannequins symbolising a refugee woman and her daughter. The concept underlined the fact that women and girls are traumatically affected by pushback incidents even more so than men.
HRS’s concept was a response to a most recent shipwreck, which ended with the drowning of 62 refugees, 12 of them children, on a boat that sailed from Turkey toward the European Union. Refugee boats leaving Turkey often face pushback by Greek authorities. Since 2021 252 people have died as a direct result of pushback policies. 126 of these deaths took place on the Turkish Greek border. Reports suggest that more than 17.000 people died en route and within Europe between 2014 and 2021 while trying to reach their final destinations in a European country. “Pushbacks are not only causing deaths but also creating a political culture that normalises the use of force against asylum seekers and leaving them to die in unsafe waters. These policies will not diminish the number of refugees. They will only force the refugee waves to change form. The next generation will face climate migration on a much larger scale. Governments should stop pushback policies once and for all and see through that the responsible are held accountable,” said Merve Aslangoren, the Chairperson of HRS.
HRS is a registered charity operating in London and has been participating in the Million Women Rise marches for the third time this year. HRS promotes human rights with a particular stress on refugee rights and the rights of the future generations.