Topic: Violence and abuse

Violence against women migrants and refugees: analysing causes and effective policy response

Female migrants and refugees are particularly exposed to violence and sexual violence, but we lack a systematic understanding of the underlying dynamics that (re)produce patterns of violence. It is this gap that the research seeks to fill in order to make policy recommendations for reducing these women’s vulnerability to violence and sexual violence and increasing their access to services.

 
2019 This project is ongoing 2022

Project Manager

Main objective

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a major infringement of women’s human rights, and an obstacle to sustainable development as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals. SGBV against migrant and refugee women is widespread, but often remains invisible and under-analysed both in academic research and policy-making. This research will take an intersectional approach to understand SGBV in the context of migration, analysing the ways in which discriminations and inequalities based on gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and age, interact to make certain women more vulnerable to SGBV and less able to access support and services for survivors than others. SGBV may be exacerbated by policies aiming to restrict migration, or to increase control of borders, which can push women into adopting dangerous routes to arrive in their country of destination. Conflict and the risks of migration may also render women vulnerable to trafficking and sexual exploitation. Conditions of reception, and policies for integration in receiving countries may also lead to increased risk of SGBV for migrant and refugee women. But these women are not just “victims”, and their strategies and agency should also be explored. In sum, while we know that female migrants and refugees are particularly exposed to violence, we lack a systematic understanding of the underlying dynamics that (re)produce patterns of violence. It is this gap that the research seeks to fill in order to make policy recommendations for reducing these women’s vulnerability to SGBV and increasing their access to services.

Method

The study is a mixed methods study drawing on country case studies, using document studies, expert interviews, and qualtitative interviews and surveys of female refugees.

Further information

The project is funded by GENDER-NET Plus ERA-NET Cofund and the consortium is coordinated by Professor Jane Freedman at the Centre de recherches sociologiques et politiques de Paris. Research Professor Margunn Bjørnholt from NKVTS is principal investigator for the Norwegian part of the Project.

Consortium

  • Centre de recherches sociologiques et politiques de Paris, CNRS/University of Paris 8 – Jane Freedman (PI/consortium coordinator), Julie Pannetier, Elsa Tyszler, Camille Gourdeau
  • Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies – Margunn Bjørnholt (PI)
  • Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law – Ruth Halperin-Kaddari (PI), Hadar Dancig Rosenberg
  • National University of Ireland, Galway – Niamh Reilly (PI), Vesna Malesevic
  • Saint Mary’s University – Evangelia Tastsoglou (PI), Catherine Holtman, Lori Wilkinson, Myrna Dawson
  • University of Vienna – Sieglinde Rosenberger (PI), Leila Hadj-Abdou
  • Oriental Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic – Gabriela Özel Volfová (PI)