Two decades ago, I arrived in the United Kingdom as a refugee, fleeing torture and violence from my native country in Central Africa. In a place of safety, I was able to rebuild my life here, provide sanctuary for my children and to work and thrive. Having advocated for refugees for over a decade, I was honoured for my achievements. I felt proud when I was appointed one of two ambassadors for the UK Foreign Office’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.
But I am worried that the door is about to close on women just like me, with their own hopes and dreams of finding safety and thriving. This government’s proposed Nationality and Borders Bill is not only overturning Britain’s tradition and international commitments to give protection to anyone fleeing conflict or persecution, it is letting down women of colour in the most ruthless way.