Reem Alsalem, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, penned a 4,500-word letter to the UK government urging a ‘thorough assessment’ of the proposed legislation, which she described as ‘unfair, rushed, vague and contradictory’ in its current form.
Ms Alsalem also raised concerns over safeguarding measures and the potential misuse of the bill’s procedure on self-identification, which could be ‘abused by sexual predators and other perpetrators of violence’.
In her letter, she wrote: ‘Such proposals would potentially open the door for violent males who identify as men to abuse the process of acquiring a GRC and the rights associated with it. This presents potential risks to the safety of women in all their diversity.
‘The Scottish government … does not provide for any safeguarding measures to ensure that the procedure is not, as far as can be reasonably assured, abused by sexual predators and other perpetrators of violence. These include access to both single-sex spaces and gender-based spaces.’
Ms Alsalem’s devastating letter revealed the Scottish government was already found to be in breach of the UN’s Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women protocol.