According to the existing studies, there are alarming accounts of gender-based violence (GVB) affecting refugee and migrant children and youth in the European Union. Trafficking, forced labour, and sexual exploitation and abuse are part of the experience of people on the move. Tackling GBV is a difficult task as there is a considerable lack of data, professional knowledge and coordination on the one hand, and a low awareness of GBV amongst migrant children and youths on the other.
To strengthen the statutory response to GBV affecting children and youth on the move in EU countries, Terre des hommes and partner organizations are implementing a regional project entitled, ‘Building Relationships through Innovative Development of Gender-Based Violence Awareness in Europe – BRIDGE’.
The two-year project is supported by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014–2020), and is being carried out in five countries:
- Belgium (under the coordination of Defence for Children International Belgium [DCI Belgium] and the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers [Fedasil]);
- Greece (under the coordination of the Association for the Social Support of Youth [Arsis);
- Hungary (under the coordination of Terre des hommes, Regional Office for Europe, project lead);
- Malta (under the coordination of Kopin);
- Romania (under the coordination of Terre des hommes, Romania).
Project partners gathered in Budapest in late 2018 for a kick-off meeting to discuss and plan project activities and milestones.
The project team is in the process of finalizing the data collection methodology, based on which a series of questionnaires will be developed and encoded using a mobile-data-collection tool. Through the utilization of this tool, the project will gather important data related to the prevalence of GBV among children and youth on the move, care professionals’ levels of capacity and awareness concerning GBV, and the levels of GBV awareness among children and youth.
Project partners will also begin developing a Training Manual for care professionals and an online course on GBV very soon.
Stay tuned for these important and exciting project outputs!
The BRIDGE project is supported by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014–2020).