The COALESCE project aims at providing support to female migrant victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in Europe through gender-specific psycho-social, legal and economic support and assistance.
Within the framework of the COALESCE project we are happy to announce a series of blog posts that bring forward the stories and perspectives of migrant women victims of trafficking in their integration journeys in Europe.
Today we bring you “Unforgettable: I started from scratch”, written by a women accompanied and supported by our partner SOLWODI (Germany).
Involving five European countries – Cyprus, Latvia, Italy, Lithuania, Ireland, and Germany – our partnership is set to develop synergies and complementarities in facilitating needs identification, assistance and support, and improve transnational cooperation among frontline professionals and practitioners in the field of trafficking of women for sexual exploitation.
This project is funded by the European Union Asylum Migration and Integration Fund.
Learn more about the COALESCE project here.
“Unforgettable: I started from scratch”
Life, as they say, cannot be predicted. Wanting to live a normal life is asking too much but, what is the dream of every child that has been born into this world? Well, they can still dream. They are still babies, and their parents are responsible. A very important question is what happens to the child when parents or the family that is supposed to love and care for the child are the ‘problem’ – when they are the oneshurting the child. An innocent child, a sweet girl. I didn’t ask to be born. It wasn’t my fault that I was born into this world, and I didn’t choose my parents or family. I did nothing wrong. I grew like every normal kid until life took a U-turn when my mother remarried. I never knew my father. Having a new daddy changed everything for me: I became the bad blood, the one who everybody blames for everything. I wasn’t allowed to make mistakes, like every other child. When I did, they hit me at the slightest provocation. I never understood why everything changed, why they hated me. I mean, what does an 8-year-old child know?
Continue reading this story…
Associazione Iroko’s Statement on 18th October 2020, European Union Anti-Trafficking Day:
End Demand to End Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation
Human trafficking is, by its very nature, an extremely difficult phenomenon to measure, and the data on the number of identified victims inevitably gives an incomplete picture of the scale of the problem. Between 2017 and 2018, a total of 74,514 victims of trafficking were detected in over 110 countries. The US Department of State reports 105,7876 identified victims worldwide in 2019, showing a clear increase year on year. The estimated total number of victims is much higher, with the ILO putting it at more than 40 million in 2016. Trafficking disproportionately affects women and girls, who – according to UNODC data – represent 72% of detected victims of trafficking globally. Moreover, sexual exploitation is the predominant form of trafficking.
Given the scale of this problem, we have written a statement to mark the day and outline what the data and what our experience have taught us about trafficking for sexual exploitation and how it can be combatted.
Read the full statement.
In these unprecedented times of crisis due to Covid-19, we have taken the difficult decision to close our office in Turin to protect our staff and beneficiaries, but we continue to offer active support in terms of signposting and accessing relevant services and can be reached by email or over the phone.
In Nigeria we are supporting correct messaging of the crisis amongst vulnerable people. Some of the women we support have sewn face masks and prepared home made disinfectants that we are distributing to those who cannot afford to buy them. We have also purchased various food items, which we are distributing to indigent families, widows, and other vulnerable groups, and continue to fundraise to keep this service going. You can see some pictures of our distribution in the gallery.
Iroko and its beneficiaries are far from alone in this struggle, as outlined in this Migrant Women Press article on how migrant women in particular are affected.
“Art is a way to look at the world”. This is the motto that drove the organisers of the event entitled ‘Rosso Indelebile’ (indelible red), a mobile artistic line-up in Turin from 23rd November to 7th December 2019, from local organisations Artemixia and Eikòn. It celebrated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is on 25th November every year. Rosso Indelebile, brainchild of the artist and curator Rosalba Castelli, is an art project made up of educational conferences, a collection of contemporary art, meetings in schools, sessions on the prevention of gender-based violence and live performances of music, dance, theatre, reading, photography and video making. Its aim was to expose gender-based violence, tell stories of the damage it causes, give voice to those who have experienced and witnessed such violence, from children to women to trans persons, encouraging victims to speak out and believe in their power to overcome the perceived shame and indignity of what they have suffered. Multiple forms of violence exist and nobody is truly exempt from it during the course of their lifetime and nobody, therefore, should feel alone in their search for a way out.
Iroko was invited to take part in the opening night of this two-week-long event, on 23rd November, an evening entitled #25novembresceglitu (which translates as ‘on 25th November you choose’), organised in collaboration with M.A.I.S.