- Thangam Debbonaire made the comments and insisted on formal training
- She is the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees
- The Bristol West MP launched a cross-party integration inquiry last week
- Aimed at addressing fears of attacks similar to Cologne's at New Year's
Male refugees coming to Britain need to be properly taught how to treat women to prevent assault and sexual harassment, according to a senior Labour MP.
Thangam Debbonaire, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, said that by providing formal training, the UK could tackle issues like female genital mutilation and sexual harassment against women.
The comments came as Miss Debbonaire launched a cross-party inquiry last week to focus on the experiences of new refugees once they have arrived in the UK and called for a ‘refugee integration strategy’ so that men claiming refuge in Britain ‘understand what is expected of them’.
Thangam Debbonaire, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, said that by providing formal training, the UK could tackle issues like female genital mutilation and sexual harassment against women
She said that it would help men whose claims were accepted to become part of the communities that they were settled in.
The approach is intended to address fears in the UK of sexual attacks similar to those carried out against women in Germany on New Year’s Eve last year.
Miss Debbonaire told the Daily Telegraph: ‘What I don’t want is for the British people to respond to a case of assault or sexual harassment by saying “no” to more refugees, which seemed to be what the public’s response to Germany was in danger of becoming.
‘We need to think about how we have those men understand what is expected of them without pretending we ourselves are perfect.
‘It would need to be sensitively worked out and could be part of a nationwide campaign to help men and boys in general to look at gender equality in a different way.
‘I’m not saying there’s a little ticket you can give incoming men. It shouldn’t surprise us if those from cultures, where gender inequality is an extreme struggle, do not understand social norms and expectations when they get here.
‘All men need this education, our indigenous population is not a haven of gender equality and you could have a situation where boys who have settled, just arrived, or been born here, would all get the same information on how they should interact with women.’
t comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury claimed that refugees were ‘treasured human beings made in the image of God’ who deserve the ‘opportunity to flourish’.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby launched the new scheme for community groups to support refugees at Lambeth Palace alongside Amber Rudd, who used her first public appearance as Home Secretary to back the move.
Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop’s London residence, has officially become the first community group to take advantage of the scheme with a Syrian family now living in a cottage on the grounds.
Most Reverend Welby said: ‘Refugees, like all people, are treasured human beings, made in the image of God, who deserve safety, freedom and the opportunity to flourish.’
Miss Rudd dismissed fears about the security consequences of taking in the refugees, saying everyone being resettled in Britain was double-vetted by the United Nations and the Home Office.
Britain is to take in 3,000 vulnerable child refugees and their carers in one of the biggest resettlement programmes worldwide from the war-torn Syria region.
They will be resettled in the UK over the next four years and come on top of the 20,000 refugees that the Government has already committed to granting asylum.