Hamburg, 16 December 2016 – Women and girls fleeing from war, persecution and violence in their home countries are particularly at risk of sexual and gender-based violence during their journey to safety and when they arrive in the European Union. In advance of International Migrants Day on 18 December, the World Future Council, filia.die frauenstiftung and UN Women National Committee Germany launch a report on good practices to better protect refugee women and girls in the EU.
The report suggests positive actions that policy-makers and civil society organisations can take to ensure that refugee women and girls arriving in the EU are safe from violence. “Refugee women and children face various risks at every stage of their journey,” says María Fernanda Espinosa, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Nations in Geneva and Co-Chair of the Ending Violence against Women and Girls Commission of the World Future Council. “This is an endemic problem that we must take urgent action to end. Governments, international organisations and civil society need to make a greater effort to prevent any kind of violence against refugee women and girls and take steps to ensure that they are effectively protected from violence.”
The collection includes more than 30 good practices from 13 different countries. It is intended as a resource for governments, local, regional and national authorities, policy-makers and civil society organisations, who are encouraged to review and adapt practices from other countries for their own context.
“The publication of this collection of good practices provides an opportunity to galvanise policy-makers into action and focus resources on developing the policies, programmes and response services that will protect refugee women and girls from violence,” says Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council and the Right Livelihood Award. “This report is a useful tool to find practices and policies that can be easily replicated and adapted, and provide inspiration for new approaches to address this issue.”
The publication profiles successful practices that are innovative, practical and transferable from a wide and diverse range of actors. It contains demonstrated models but also innovative approaches to tackle and prevent violence and support survivors. The report pays particular attention to grassroots initiatives that have been designed and delivered in close collaboration with refugee women, with the aim of strengthening their self-empowerment and self-organising. It covers such issues as adequate reception conditions, describing innovative and practical approaches to create safe spaces such as mobile units and day centres. It also includes grassroots projects that apply a peer-to-peer approach and create networks of intercultural mediators. A number of initiatives target specific groups such as pregnant women or refugee girls. The report ends with a set of practical policy recommendations to guide policy-making in this area.
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