Name of the Project


Country, City, Neighbourhood

Romania (Iași, Galați, Suceava counties), Italy, France, Sweden, UK.

Website or social media of the project


Who is developing the project?

Alternative Sociale Association, Fondazione L’Albero della Vita, Fondazione ISMU, France Terre d’Asile and the Italian Red, Cross, British Red Cross and the Svenska Röda Korset.

European Commission

Brief description

The action was based on a needs assessment carried out across in the five participant countries to identify the main needs and gaps in training of operational staff working with migrant women at risk of GBV (quantitative-qualitative research carried out across several reception centers of the five partner-countries).

The interviewees suggested many training needs and the prevalent of them have been adopted to formulate the four modules and their contents.

The research established the necessity for staff working in the reception system to be trained to identify needs of vulnerable women, adopt a gender sensitive approach and to support them to access support and the justice system. So, three macro-transversal topics have been identified: identification, prevention, care.

Objectives of the Project

Objective 1 Enabling professionals to identify vulnerabilities of girls and women victims or at risk of violence and providing support in the most gender and cultural sensitive way.

Objective 2 To sensitize and inform migrant women/girls victims or at risk of becoming victims of violence with regards to the rights for access to justice and assistance.

Tools and Methods

The training uses a participatory approach promoting engagement in the learning process. The role of the facilitator is therefore to encourage participation in an interactive way in order to valorise the competencies and experiences of the participants.

Trainers are encouraged to spend time preparing activities and case studies that reflect the national context with regards to migrant women and GBV and ensuring they refer to the national and organisational protocols and referral mechanisms for safeguarding vulnerable people from violence and abuse.

a. Sharing of experience.
During the introductory session participants are asked to describe their interactions with victims of violence, migrants. They are asked to speak about their job related activities and about how they work with other community institutions and members of the public.

b. Presentations
The training modules rely on presentations on the specifics of migration, of working with victims of violence (national and European statistical data, relevant definitions, impact studies etc.).

c. Practical activities
The training also included practical applications – participants had to design victim identification plans, apply techniques for working with victims, in groups comprised of different professions (social workers, police, border police, psychologists, immigration officers, forensic and emergency medical staff). The participants were also asked to draw an intervention plan to be used in their communities.

d. Q&A
Participants were encouraged to expressed concerns with regards to the application of tools and methods, and the concerns were addressed by trainers.

e. Participatory approach
The trainers used practical applications to draw, with the help of participants, the essential elements for a good communication with the victims which facilitate the disclosure and the assistance.

f. Profiling and role play

What methodologies does the project use?

  • participatory processes (initial needs evaluation, content co-development, impact assessment after the application of the program etc.)
  • digital tools
  • cultural heritage (community stakeholders involvement in the design of interventions, highlight community values and challenge prejudice against migrants, women’s role, lower tolerance to violence)
  • design thinking (UX – profiling, designing interventions from the perspective of the beneficiary)

General context

Among huge displacement worldwide, Europe is facing the biggest migration flux since World War II. In January 2016 children and women population outnumbered men representing the 60% of refugees and migrants reaching Europe.

Gender Based Violence (GBV) can occur in different phases of the migration journey: is often the reason for migrating, it might occur during the journey and can happen also once arrived in Europe. Reports and surveys illustrate how the risks is not decreased in the last case and women and girls keep feeling unsafe during their stay in emergency centres, detention centre and reception centres.

The widespread underreporting of GBV is linked to women and girls mistrust in authorities, self-blame, fear of reprisal, but also because they do not have access to information on the rights they are entitle to in each EU Member states.

The SWIM–Safe Women in Migration project aims to contribute to the protection of W/G migrant and asylum seeker victims and at risks of GBV by addressing some of the most urgent needs identified by current literature and by partners’ experience.

The project is based on existing EU legislation and policies, particularly Directive 2012/29/UE and Directive 2013/33/UE which establishes, as a general principle, that all EU member states need to take special measures for the assistance of victims of rape and of other forms of physical, psychological and sexual violence.

Selected tags about the project

#gender based violence
#European values
#women migration

How does it develop in time?

The project included 3 trainings (2 one day modules) days for professionals and 3 workshops (2 one day modules) for women migrants.


Professionals working with migrants, women and children victims of violence.


  • Skills of professionals working in reception and emergency centers improved. The capacity building toolkit provide professionals with practical knowledge on how identifying needs at the arrival points in EU Soil and in the reception systems and identify risk of trafficking, forced prostitution, FGM appointing the appropriate facility. 552 professionals and volunteers staff from 5 different countries:
    • are acknowledged on EU legal framework ensuring minimum standards to migrant/asylum seekers women and girls victims or at risks of violence.
    • are able to pre identifying and identifying girls and women at risk or victims of violence at arrival points and other forms of accommodation.
    • are trained on the referral mechanism in their countries.
  • Awareness and access to justice and support system of W/G at risk or victims of GBV increased. Multiple stakeholders are engaged to raise awareness informing and sensitizing on the rights of migrant and asylum seekers women victims and at risk of violence. By the end of the project, Target groups who benefit from this result are:
    • 300 women and girls at risk or victims of violence are informed on the access to justice and support ensured regardless their legal status;
    • 25 migrant associations become focal points in the communities on the minimum standards for victims of GBV;
    • 120 diplomatic missions of third country nationals and private sectors) are sensitized on the urgent need of protection;
    • 60 diplomatic missions of third country nationals and private sectors take a stand in favor of vulnerable women by disseminating IEC materials and by orienting CSR policies to the protection of vulnerable women and girls.

How is it evaluated?

Training evaluation forms