On this day last year we made a stand. Pregnant women and their babies in the asylum system were being put at unacceptable risk by Home Office policies and procedures.
On February 25 2013, the Refugee Council launched our #Dignity in Pregnancy campaign, along with our partners Maternity Action, with some ground breaking research which revealed that pregnant women and new mothers were being moved around the country, sometimes on multiple occasions, for bureaucratic convenience.
We knew that moving such vulnerable women; uprooting them from friends and family and taking them away from their midwife and specialist healthcare; could have disastrous consequences.
Sadly, many of the women we spoke to gave birth alone and struggled to cope as new mothers in an unknown place.
We knew we had to speak out. And we weren’t the only ones to make a stand: thousands of our supporters wrote to their MPs, asking them to take action for pregnant women seeking asylum.
As a result of this pressure, we have made some significant progress.
The Home Office has now agreed to revise their guidance and rules on the movement and accommodation of pregnant women in the asylum system in consultation with health professionals – a major step forward.
We hope the new guidelines will be finalised and published soon.