Left wing reporting alert.
The government has been accused of hypocrisy for hosting this week's Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London, while failing victims of rape on its own doorstep.
The foreign secretary, William Hague, and film star Angelina Jolie, special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, are co-chairing the conference, which begins on Tuesday at the Excel Centre in east London and aims to create "irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict".
But sources at the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), as well as charities working with asylum seekers and victims of torture, are growing increasingly concerned at the failings of UK immigration and Home Office officials to deal with the cases of women who have been victims of sexual violence when they arrive in the UK as war refugees.
The Refugee Council's women's advocacy manager, Anna Musgrave, said it was hypocritical of the government to have the Foreign Office pledging to help to stop rape as a weapon of war while the Home Office was treating its victims so shoddily.
"This summit demonstrates there is a dangerous lack of joined-up thinking when it comes to tackling sexual violence against women. These are the same women," she said.
"On one hand, you've got real progress being made in conflict zones overseas, but when those same victims make it to UK shores it's a completely different story. Women often aren't believed, and instead of being protected they're further traumatised by the asylum system. It's critical that the government tackles this issue with the same gusto at home as it's doing abroad and protects the survivors of sexual violence."
Despite a commitment last year to train staff in what to do if a woman tells them she has been a victim of rape, there has been little change. Often a traumatised woman arriving in the UK is taken to be interviewed by a male official and a male translator and expected to disclose everything that has happened to her in a matter of minutes, said Musgrave. Sometimes her children may be in the room.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jun/07/end-sexual-violence-summit-uk-government-hypocrisy