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PROTECT-Preventing sexual and gender-based violence against migrants and strengthening support to victims

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a prevalent human rights violation both globally and on the European 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 and LGBTQI people can all become victims of such violence.

The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the capacities of existing national support services for sexual and gender based violence to coordinate better and make these systems available for refugee, migrant and asylum seeker victims and potential victims of SGBV. The project also aims to raise awareness among and empower these communities.

The project is implemented by 12 IOM country offices (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain) and eight NGO partners, Legebitra (Slovenia), Le monde selon les femmes abl (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 project has the following specific objectives and activities which will be implemented during its 18-month project cycle. Most of the activities will be tailored to specific national context.

- Strengthen and adapt existing national and regional support services for sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) to coordinate better and include refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers, with a specific focus on unaccompanied children. In Italy the activities will be mainly focused in the two selected regions, namely Calabria and Apulia.

- Build capacity for professionals who work with and for refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers with the aim of identifying and addressing the needs of victims and potential victims of SGBV more effectively.

- Empower and inform refugee and migrant communities and asylum-seekers of SGBV and its prevention through a regional awareness-raising campaign. In Italy the activities will be focused on unaccompanied and separated children in Calabiai and Apulia.


By the end of the project the following outputs will be produced:

SOPs/Guidelines developed / reviewed / contributed to in 8 countries
120+ trainings organized over 12 countries
13 000+ information materials distributed
200+ information session organized on SGBV prevention

Watch the video "No one has the right to hurt you":

Italian - French - English - Arabic - Urdu - Albanian - Somali - Bulgarian - Croatian - Dutch - Farsi - Greek - Hungarian - Kurdish (Kurmanji) - Kurdish (Sorani) - Pashto - Polish - Portuguese - Russian - Slovene - Spanish - Tigrinya - Turkish - Ukranian 

Project's documents:


Leaflet for children: Italian - English - French - Urdu 

Mapping report on legal frameworks and assistance available to migrants victims of sexual and gender-based violece (SGBV)


For further information, please contact:  


Carlotta Santarossa: +39 0685237244 - Annalisa Mantelli: +39 0685237235 - Martina Fabbri: +39 3666060165