Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a prevalent human rights violation both globally and on the EU level. SGBV has both physical and psychological forms, it includes domestic violence, sexual harassment and violence, harmful practices, exploitation and trafficking in human beings. Women and men, girls and boys can all become victims of such violence however the majority of the victims are women and girls.
The PROTECT – Preventing sexual and gender-based violence against migrants and strengthening support to victims project aims to support the coordination and/or adaptation of support services for SGBV survivors (or migrants at risk of SGBV) among refugees, migrants and asylum seekers (children and adults, including LGBTQI+ migrants). It is funded by the EU’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).
The project is implemented by 12 IOM country offices (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain) and 8 NGO partners, Legebitra (Slovenia), Le Monde selon les femmes asbl (Belgium), Fundación EMET Arco Iris, Asociación Rumiñahui, Movimiento por la Paz (Spain), Arq Psychotrauma Expert Groep, Rutgers, and Pharos (Netherlands) between October 2018 and March 2020.
The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the capacities of existing national support services for SGBV to coordinate better and make these systems available for refugee, migrant and asylum seeker victims and potential survivors. The project also aims to raise awareness among and empower these communities.
The project has the following specific objectives and activities:
- Strengthen and adapt existing national support services for SGBV to coordinate better and include refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers.
- Build capacity for professionals who work with and for refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers with the aim of identifying and addressing the needs of SGBV survivors more effectively.
- Empower and inform refugee and migrant communities and asylum-seekers of SGBV and its prevention through a regional awareness-raising campaign.
As part of the PROTECT project, IOM Belgium and Luxembourg organizes trainings provided by Le Monde selon les femmes asbl on SGBV and migration. The trainings address sexual violence in particular and its impact on the individual, and aim to strengthen the capacity of the participants to provide the appropriate support and to guide survivors whilst taking care of themselves.
Beneficiaries of the training are 1st line workers, but also future social assistants.
Amongst others, the following organizations and schools have benefited from the training: Collectif Des Femmes, La Maison de l'Amérique Latine, Oasis Belgium, CAW Oost-Vlaanderen, The city of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Vie Féminine asbl, Planning Familial de Liège, Institut Cardijn - Ecole supérieure de Formation sociale, HELMO - Haute Ecole Libre Mosane, Hogeschool PXL, Haute Ecole Léonard De Vinci.
Le Monde selon les femmes also provides information sessions in primary and secondary schools, on gender and discrimination, linking these topics to SGBV in a migration context.
Mapping Report on Legal Frameworks and Assistance Available to Migrant Victims of Sexual and Gender‑Based Violence (SGBV)
As part of the inception phase of the PROTECT project, national mapping exercises have been conducted by IOM country offices together with project partners in 12 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain) to map the existing legislative frameworks, available services to migrant victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) to and identify the key gaps and challenges.
Download the report here >>