The NGO Femmes en détresse A.S.B.L, with the support of the City of Luxembourg has developed a toolbox that aims at providing more tailored support to migrant women and girls who survived sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The toolbox is directed at frontline professionals and practitioners working or wishing to work in the context of the reception and integration of migrant communities, in particular of women and girls, may they be providing medical, psycho-social, legal, administrative, and/or general assistance to these communities.

The toolbox is a comprehensive introductory tool on SGBV affecting migrant women and girls, with both theoretical and practical elements. It is adaptable and suitable in a professional setting but also in a training context. The toolbox is composed of:

  • Four modules on SGBV affecting migrant women and girls
  • Four field support annexes with additional practical guidance for professionals (one Annex per module)
  • Four training annexes with additional practical guidelines for trainers (one Annex per module)
  • Testimonies from female migrants residing in Luxembourg


For more information about this toolbox, read our latest project update!

Each toolbox developed in the project has been carefully put together by our team and reviewed by a diverse panel of thematic experts at the end of 2020. The experts brought a wide variety of expertise and insights on the comprehensiveness, duplicability and practical use of the tools in other EU contexts. The experts involved in the project include field specialists, activists, academics, and specialized city services. Want to know more about our team and the experts of the Migrant women and girls toolbox? Click on the drop down list below! 


Meet the Team

Isabel Da Silva

Isabel Da Silva is the focal point of Femmes en Détresse for the Equalcity project.

Contact Isabel for questions, requests and additional info.

Learn more about Isabel

Sofia Luis

Sofia Luis, the project assistant of IOM Luxembourg for the Equalcity project.

Contact Sofia for questions, requests and additional info.

Learn more about Sofia


Meet the Experts

Nadia Uwera

Nadia is a psycho-social worker in the reception and accommodation service of CVFE, the Collective Against Family Violence and Exclusion

Her expertise lies in domestic violence. Since 2014, she has increasingly devoted her attention to the specificities of domestic violence in a migratory context.

Why does Nadia participate in this expert panel?

"I participate in this expert panel, because it seems important to me to share knowledge and my expertise as a field worker. The problem of domestic violence requires a concerted and coherent look in order to get out of the powerlessness, the clichés but also the spiral in which it puts all the protagonists. Creating training modules for professionals, providing them with tools in order to better support victims of violence is essential for me and for our association. It is also important for me to share our perspective on the specificity of supporting migrant women victims of domestic violence, without putting them in boxes."

Read more about CVFE here and the topic of domestic violence and migration in this article (French) co-written by Nadia.

Goizane Mota Gago

Goizane is the Migrant Women Programme Manager of Bilbao's City Council. She is also a member of Red Estatal Libres de MGF (“Free of FGM” State Network) and of the Intercultural Cities Programme of the Council of Europe.

She has expertise in empowerment, SGBV prevention, migrant women, FGM and gender equality.

Why does Goizane participate in this expert panel?

"Being part of the expert panel allows new learning, transnational exchange and multidirectional sharing. SGBV prevention is, in my opinion, a big challenge of public authorities."

Contact Goizane through e-mail.

Interested in the work of the City of Bilbao on this topic? Follow them through Facebook and Twitter.

Laura Albu

Laura is the Vice-President of the European Women's Lobby (EWL) and is active in the EWL's Executive Committee dealing with Violence Against Women and Anti-discrimination, migration asylum, diversity. She also represents EWL in the Expert Forum of European Institute for Gender Equality. In Romania, she is the President of Romanian Women’s Lobby and Executive President of Community Safety and Mediation Center Romania.

Being involved in many different national and international working groups, Laura has established expertise in developing and reviewing legislation and strategies on sexual and domestic violence. She has worked as an expert for Council of Europe and for other women NGOs for the promotion of the Istanbul Convention. Since May 2018, she is a member of the Advisory Board of the H2020 project entitled “Improving Frontline Responses to High Impact Domestic Violence”.

Why does Laura participate in this expert panel?

"I am in this project, because I believe that across Europe local governments must ensure that protection services and mechanisms are in place and running to support all women and girls who are victims of male violence and exploitation, including migrant women and girls. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic showed us that this is the time to implement -more fully than ever- the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention, and that we all can learn from local communities and their responses to crisis and be supportive of each other while remaining innovative."

Contact Laura through e-mail.

Interested in the work of Laura on this topic? Follow her through Facebook and Twitter.

Fabienne Richard

Fabienne is the Executive Director of GAMS Belgium (Group for the Abolition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)). She also works as an FGM Expert Midwife at CeMAViE (FGM Clinics) at the St-Pierre Hospital in Brussels. Furthermore, she is a member of the End FGM Network, a scientific collaborator at the School of Public Health (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and is a lecturer in several midwifery schools.

As a French registered midwife with a specialization in tropical medicine and public health (MSc, PhD), she has 10-year experience as clinical midwife and a field experience of 5 years in international context (Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Liberia, Somalia, Sri Lanka) for Doctors Without Borders and the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp. She is an FGM expert midwife and is involved in FGM research (Coordination of FGM prevalence studies in Belgium, Action-research on referrals for girls at risk) and in writing clinical guidelines for the Ministry of Health in Belgium. She is member of the Superior Health Council Working Group on reconstructive surgery post-FGM. She is also coordinating the EU Project ACCESS (2018-2020), which aims to improve the access of victims of gender-based violence to support services through trained community peer educators and an awareness campaign.

Why does Fabienne participate in this expert panel?

"I’m happy to share our Belgian experience about FGM as we work at different levels: prevention activities, individual support, training activities, advocacy with a community approach. It is important to build of what was already done without replicating existing tools and create networks and transfer of knowledge."

Contact Fabienne through e-mail.

Interested in the work of Fabienne on this topic? Follow her through Facebook and LinkedIn.

Homa Hasan

Homa works at IOM Norway as a Senior Programme Development Officer. She is a member of Women in Global Health and is part of the Roster of Lay Magistrates for the Oslo District Courts.

Homa has a healthcare professional background (related to mental health and psychosocial support). She is the Gender Focal Point for IOM Norway and is part of IOM's trainer network on LGBTI. As a healthcare professional, she has worked with, both supporting and advocating for, vulnerable groups, which was part of her medical ethics career. At IOM, she was able to deepen her knowledge on counter-trafficking (CT), SGBV, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and to give voice and visibility to migrant women in the Stakeholder arena’s. Her interest lies in public awareness (creating visual/digital material and running events) and facilitating training of frontline workers to further increase the number of professionals able to identify and tackle large scale abuses. Financial vulnerability is a factor when breaking the cycle of abuse – with a personal interest in finance, she is developing personal finance workshops to empower women, with a focus on first generation migrant women.

Why does Homa participate in this expert panel?

"Working at IOM has given me the technical skills to analyse gaps and challenges faced by migrants and to identify cumulative vulnerabilities due to intersectionality and to design projects accordingly to reduce barriers and increase participation whilst abiding with the primary principle of Do No Harm – I am able to add to these skills with the pragmatism that comes with life experience. Transitioning from a second generation migrant where I navigated a well-known system in my mother tongue to being a first generation migrant, where I had to start from scratch in a fourth language, has given me valuable insights on the challenges and barriers faced by migrants, in particular women and single mothers, and how easy it is to become invisible and without voice. I use my experience to give support, be it through interviews, disseminating information through migrant networks, and most recently through poetry where I tackle themes such as child abuse, discrimination, growing older whilst simultaneously using it as a tool of empowerment."

Contact Homa through e-mail.

Interested in the work of Homa on this topic? Follow her through LinkedIn and head to her Facebook for some inspiring poetry.

Guglielmo Schininà

Guglielmo is the Head of Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication at the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Guglielmo is an expert in mental health and psychosocial support in emergency as well as in cultural integration. In more than 25 years of experiences around the world, the focus of his work has lied on community-based approaches to working with conflict-affected and vulnerable migrant populations such as survivors of human trafficking and SGBV.

Why does Guglielmo participate in this expert panel?

"I am passionate about programs that promote the rights, protection and wellbeing of migrants, and about gender equality. Effective support services require an interdisciplinary and integrated approach. As such, I am happy to be part of a panel that brings together experts from different fields whose expertise and best practice can be of inspiration for IOM psychosocial support programs in Europe and worldwide. As a panelist, I am to advocate for the mainstreaming and the cross-cutting consideration of psychosocial and cultural wellbeing in the design and implementation of Equalcity."

Contact Guglielmo through e-mail.

Interested in the work of IOM MHPSS? Visit the webpage here!

Emilomo Ogbe

Emilomo is the founder of AISE Consulting and currently works as a Doctoral Researcher at Ghent University. She is also part of the Ethics Review Committee of Marie Stopes International and functions in the Board of the Postpartum Support Network Africa. She is also a Research Associate at the Center of Reproductive Technologies and Health at Sussex University (UK).

Emilomo has almost 10 years of experience working on gender-based violence with community-based organizations and International organizations in the Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya and Belgium, including the World Health Organization. Her work has been specifically targeted at vulnerable populations, ethnic minorities, sex workers, asylum seekers and undocumented migrant. Recently, she completed field work on access to sexual and gender-based violence services among asylum seekers in Belgium and internally displaced persons in Nigeria.

Why does Emilomo participate in this expert panel?

"I am very pleased to be working with IOM Belgium and Luxembourg, and Femmes en Détresse to address SGBV against female refugees and migrants. The opportunity to contribute to the training toolbox for service providers to improve identification, referral and protection of SGBV survivors, is a cause close to my heart. I am a medical doctor and have had the opportunity through my work and research to observe service providers’ interactions with asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants. Lack of knowledge, improper referral procedures and screening tools, make it difficult for service providers to identify SGBV survivors, especially as they often present with other symptoms, specifically psycho-somatic symptoms that can be misdiagnosed. I believe by contributing to the tool development, we can make an impact and help mitigate some of the consequences of SGBV, by early identification and referral, thereby providing survivors with the much needed help and psychosocial support they need."

Read more about Emilomo's consulting firm AISE here and follow her on LinkedIn.

Mylène Porta

Mylène is a socio-pedagogical coordinator and trainer at Alter & Ego asbl in Luxembourg.

Mylène is a socio-educator specialized in migration and diversity management issues. She is a graduate educator with a Masters in sociology, specializing in "migration and interethnic relations" and an Art Therapist in training. She is also an 'intercultural' and 'sexual and gender diversity' trainer. For Luxembourg, she conceptualized and drafted the 'Communal Integration Plan', adapted the anti-migrant prejudice guide from CIRÉ Belgium and participated in adapting and developing the card game on the history of migration from CRIBW Belgium. In the field, in Belgium and Luxembourg, she always worked with migrant women through meeting groups, language courses, social support, expression and promotion projects, and art therapy workshops. This took place at the local level, in neighborhoods with strong cultural diversity and in homes for applicants for international protection.

Why does Mylène participate in this expert panel?

"The inclusion and protection of migrants at risk or who have survived sexual and gender-based violence is an intersectional theme that has sometimes been forgotten in the past, but is very important, and even more so today with the realities due to COVID-19. The Equalcity project is a real opportunity for Luxembourg to strengthen the skills of local and frontline services on this topic. I am happy to have the chance to participate in this project. The partnership and international exchange on which the project is based is also a great opportunity."

Read more about the interesting work of Alter & Ego here.

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This project is funded by the European Union