23 Jan 2015


Association ALC , coordinator of the national network Ac.Sè, hosted the last national meeting of the Grundtvig project in Paris.

On the first day partners participated to the Ac.Se workshop “Migration, Maternity and Prostitution: converging views”, an high levels panels with professionals of the network and external experts.

The first contribution was made by Helga Konrad, Former Austrian Minister, Head of the Regional Initiative for implementing Actions to Prevent and Fight against Human Trafficking. She focused on gender characteristics of trafficking since 60-80% of victims are women and young girl, the percentage vary from region to region. Women vulnerability is rooted in gender inequality of the countries of residence and of transit, where there aren’t any social networks to support them and women are still considered as sexual object . In the relationship among authorities and the Trafficking of Human Being (THB), it is necessary to underline that these people suffered serious crimes, they are forced in to slavery, they are abused physical and psychologically, therefore they need special attention. They could face difficulties in talking with others of their experience and sometimes behavior is perceived as a refusal to cooperate with the justice.

Some progress has been achieved in the international protection of the victims of THB with the approval and implementation of the Palermo Protocol in 2000, Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings in 2005 and European commission directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims of 2012.
Céline Bressieux, coordinator of Les Lucioles, Association ALC, introduced the study on migrant mothers involved in prostitution, the context of leaving the country of origin and the study motivation. In the last years an increasing number of mothers or pregnant women appealed to the Dispositif Ac.Se, they come from eastern African countries, mainly from Nigeria. The study analyze their situation to understand what is the role of social workers and what kind of assistance they need.

Amandine Plancade, anthropologist, and Marion Manier, sociologist, co-authors of the study presented the results of the study “Migration, Maternity and prostitution” conducted in PACA region. The study, a qualitiative and quantitive survey, has two main objectives:
1. To understand the social situation of the target women
2. To analyze their relation with social service
The study, which applies a view point approach from women and professionals, involved professionals and 19 women, most of them received assistances by the Ac. Sé network.
Professionals measure vulnerability considering different aspects: materials deprivation, psychological and social status. Questionnaires were distributed to the professionals to identify the critical aspects. The main problems outlined were communication and trust. In fact from one side women do not trust social workers from the other side professionals feel their discretion in unveiling the identity as a lack of trust. Professionals presented different approaches and interventions, some tended to see the difficulties of women due to the precariousness of migration, others considered that the vulnerability comes from being forced into prostitution. The second part of the study focalized on women point of view. The target group considered possess different stories and backgrounds: for some of these women prostitution was the way to reach France, other were involved in this network once they arrived, 11 were already mothers – 10 of them left the children with some relatives – the others became pregnant in transit and in France. In general motherhood sharpen the insecurity of their situation.
Fathers’ role , in most of the case, is nonexistent or insufficient. Migrant mothers suffers from a serious of difficulties related to their situation: material deprivation, isolation, difficulties in entering into the labor market, difficulties in approaching with the institutions such as schools and social services.

Furthermore, women could not rely completely on social workers because, due to the situation of illegality they are worried that their babies could be taken away, they also fear stigmatization and shame for their status. In general they refuse to tell their personal stories, they want to preserve their private life. ALC participation to Grundtvig project on transnational families could be seen also in the will of deepening the understanding of the dynamics between countries of origin and arrival.

Among the numerous and interesting intervention, it worth to mention Anne Renaerd, social work coordinator at  Solipam Network who presented their view on Maternity and Precariousness. The network operates in favor of the migrant women forced into prostitution including them in programme of social security and health assistance. Solipam network aims to coordinate social services in Paris and Ile de France ensuring continuity of the assistance of these women in coordination with public services. They monitor their intervention relaying on indicators of precariousness such as the environment, and indicators of vigilances, such as addictions. In conclusion they underlined the importance of empowering social and medical professionals to better identify condition of preciousness.

Veronique Grandroque, Child educator at CHRS FARES Association Itinéraires, illustrated her experience with parenthood and foreign parents. The association operates with a multidisciplinary team constituted by advisors, educational specialists and psychologists. The aim is to ensure that foreign parents are recognized as parents beyond stereotypes, fostering behaviors that allow a solid inclusion. For example children are encouraged to eat with cutlery in order to facilitate their integration in schools.

From CADA Assoctiane Itinéraires, based in Caen, Evire Thomasse, brought her experience with refugees migrant parents. The center hosts persons who already applied for asylum, they come from Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Ruanda, Kosovo and Chechnya. One of the main problems is the communication barriers, unfortunately the lack of funding that doesn’t allow to have professional interpreters.

Finally Grundtvig partners met Mathilde Archambault from Horse la Rue Association who explained the organization commitment with unaccompanied minors, mainly children from eastern Europe that belong to the roma community. The organization has a mobile unit working in Paris outskirts and a daily care center for street children, based on free adhesion and anonymity. From the 2000s the number of children travelling to France without parents increased, although sometimes they arrive with a relative. Children are victims of human trafficking, and forced to labor, in certain cases even their families are entrapped in system of exploitations. One of the critical aspect identified is that social service are not able to take care of these children or to prevent their incarceration. From their experience appear as has extremely necessary the empowerment of the police on child protection measures.

Paris meeting concluded the first year of project, a needs assessments on required skills and educational lack of professionals working with transnational families in Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and France has been carried out and good practices has been shared among partners.  In the next phase of the project all the information gathered during the mapping and the meetings will be synthesis in order to create  training modules effective and replicable in Europe.