- This event has passed.
Call for Partnerships: From Southeast Asia to Europe: Strengthening migrant and trafficked women’s rights to inclusive re/integration
5 September, 2020 - 6 September, 2020
Call for Research and Advocacy Partnerships – Southeast Asia and Europe
The International Secretariat of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW-IS) is pleased to launch a call for a three-year collaboration on feminist research and advocacy with civil society organisations working with women migrant workers in Southeast Asia and Europe, on issues related to women’s rights to work and mobility.
1. About the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)
The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) is an Alliance of more than 80 non-governmental organisations from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas working to promote and defend the human rights of all migrants and their families against the background of an increasingly globalised labour market. GAATW sees the phenomenon of human trafficking intrinsically embedded in the context of migration for the purpose of labour and calls for safety standards for migrant workers in the process of migration, and in the formal and informal work sectors – garment and food processing, agriculture and farming, domestic work, sex work, construction – where slavery-like conditions and practices exist.
GAATW prioritises the value of experiential knowledge and the role that community-based organisations and women themselves can play in creating new knowledge about and fresh insights into issues affecting women’s lives, including migration and work. Such feminist knowledge is crucial in evaluating the effectiveness of existing labour migration regimes, and advocating for labour migration and anti-trafficking policies that protect the rights of women.
2. About the Project
Under the project “From Southeast Asia to Europe: Strengthening migrant and trafficked women’s rights to inclusive re/integration”, GAATW-IS seeks to amplify migrant and trafficked women’s participation and visibility in labour migration processes in countries of origin in Southeast Asia and countries of destination in Europe with the larger aim of influencing policy change. Utilising participatory research and action, the project creates robust feminist analyses of the impact of the current migration and development frameworks on women migrant workers – specifically on the social inclusion and sustainable re/integration options available to them. This analysis will be used to jointly influence national, regional and international policy-makers, as well as undertake actions for change with migrant and trafficked women.
3. Call for Partnerships for Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) and Advocacy
(Note: The focus is on women from Southeast Asia who are currently in Europe or have returned from Europe, regardless of legal status, sector of work, or whether they were identified as trafficked, or smuggled by authorities or NGOs. The term re/integration as used here refers to both integration while in the destination country and re-integration upon return in the origin country).
We invite civil society organisations (CSOs) working at the community level with migrant and trafficked women in Southeast Asia (with priority countries Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand) and Europe to apply for this project collaboration which will run for approximately 36 months. We will select up to twelve applicants to work with GAATW to undertake country-level research and advocacy with migrant and trafficked women.
In the first year of this project, partners will utilise feminist participatory action research (FPAR) methods to work closely with migrant and trafficked women in their communities to document and analyse the factors that influence their social and economic re/integration, as well as the policy and other measures to improve their existing options.
The bulk of labour migration in Southeast Asia (SEA) takes place within the sub-region and to West and East Asia; most of this is circular migration, with many migrants eventually returning home. Women typically enter domestic work, construction, agriculture or entertainment and sex work. In Europe, out the 82.3 million migrants, approximately 1.8 million are from SEA; women make up around half of all migrants in Europe, but among SEA migrants, women represent a higher share at 61.5 per cent. The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are among the top ten non-EU countries of origin for detected victims of trafficking and around 80 per cent of victims are women. Thus, the data shows clearly that women outnumber men both in migration and trafficking and even then, these numbers do not reveal the full story because first, precise trafficking figures are notoriously difficult to compile and second, data on migrants does not include undocumented migrants.
Legal opportunities for Southeast Asian women to live and work in Europe, apart from through marriage, are almost non-existent. Work in private homes, massage parlours or nail salons, and seasonal work in agriculture face competition from migrants from other regions. Still, Europe remains a dream for many women and some of them take risks to achieve their dreams. While some succeed, many face abuses in the hands of recruiters and at work places, racial discrimination in society and eventual deportation. Life upon return, whether as a migrant or trafficked woman, offers other challenges including loss of face for “failed migration”, repayment of debt and struggle for employment.
The meagre re/integration support in both origin and destination countries is not available to everyone equally. Sometimes assistance is provided to documented migrants who were repatriated through official channels or to victims of trafficking on conditions that they cooperate with law enforcement. In most cases, assistance is short-term, aiming to provide health and safety support, but not economic or social opportunities. Some returnees stay away from assistance to avoid labelling. In Europe, there are initiatives to improve migrants’ integration in the labour market; however, as studies show, migrants fall behind in accessing employment, education and social inclusion. As noted by the Fundamental Rights Agency, many EU Member States lack gender-responsive policies that can address the intersectional discriminations faced by migrant women.
Thus, the aim of the research component of the project is to find out what options for re/integration in society and the labour market exist for migrant and trafficked women, what the women think of these options, and how they can be improved in order to maximise the benefits of women’s migration. In their research, partners could focus on one or more of the following: questions:
- What does “re/integration” mean from the migrant or trafficked woman’s perspective? Are there different experiences of those who go via documented vs irregular channels? Or of those who participated in a re/integration programme – what skills were they taught, are these relevant to the job market, did they experience discrimination and stigma from service providers?
- To what extent were women “integrated” in their communities in the first place, that they can be “reintegrated”? Before they left, what was their position in the labour market? When they returned, did they go back to the same position in the labour market and society?
- Integration in the labour market – do migrant and trafficked women find jobs easily and what jobs do they find? Do they get their skills certified? How are they treated by employers? Are they able to access other/new job pathways? Can they utilise the skills obtained during their migration (e.g. knowledge of foreign language or procedures in a foreign country) to find a job?
- What are the social perceptions of migrant and trafficked women? What are the factors which contribute to “looking down” on them? How can we improve societal perceptions of migrant and trafficked women – making visible their work and contributions? What are the opportunities and challenges to public participations? What strategies do women adopt to tackle stigma and social exclusion?
(Note: The focus of the project is on women from Southeast Asia who are or have returned from Europe. However, project partners will be able to engage with a limited number of women from other regions (e.g. Africa or Latin America in Europe) or who returned from other regions (e.g. East Asia or Middle East) to Southeast Asia if they can demonstrate the benefits of such engagement).
At the beginning of the project, partners will be introduced to participatory action research methods, including feminist participatory action research (FPAR), feminist advocacy and organising.
Advocacy and actions for change
In the second and third years, partners will work with GAATW and other project partners to develop and implement joint advocacy campaigns at the national and regional levels, identifying relevant stakeholders and allies, including in the media, as well as common key messages from the research. Based on the research and analysis of the findings, partners will identify policy recommendations and actions for change to improve the options for economic and social inclusion of migrant and trafficked women. Migrant and trafficked women will be involved in identifying, creating and participating in advocacy and other actions for change.
4. Timeline and scope of work
The involvement in the project will be approximately 36 months, with the timeline as follows:
- October 2020 – December 2021
Research phase: capacity-building of project partners for FPAR, creating research plans and ethics documents, identifying research participants, conducting interviews and focus groups with approximately 35-40 migrant and/or trafficked women per partner; analysis of findings and drawing up of advocacy and actions for change.
- January 2022 – August 2023
Advocacy phase: national, regional and international advocacy and action for change organised by project partners together with migrant and trafficked women; popularisation of research findings.
- January 2021 – August 2023
Inter-movement, inter-regional dialogue: GAATW will facilitate mutual learning among project partners through country visits, joint learning webinars, and participation of project partners in GAATW’s Knowledge Sharing Forum on Women, Work and Migration.
5. Support for selected national partners
- GAATW will support the selected organisations with a small research grant to carry out the field research.
- GAATW will support the knowledge and capacity building of partner organisations to carry out field research and to create advocacy strategies.
- GAATW will provide support with the report-writing, analysis and publication of findings
- GAATW will provide additional funds the dissemination of research findings, including in the media, for national-level advocacy plans, as well as support the participation of partners and women migrant workers in relevant regional and international advocacy forums
- Costs for regional study visits and convenings will be covered by GAATW separately; such activities will be planned together with all the project partners.
6. Selection Criteria
Civil society organisations who are working with migrant and trafficked women in Europe (no specific countries) and Southeast Asia (priority countries: Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand) are invited to apply. Community groups comprising migrant and/or trafficked women in either region are especially encouraged to apply. Two-three organisations will be selected per country. While applications that demonstrate the most alignment with the project objectives will be prioritised, applying organisations should also meet the following criteria:
- Committed to a rights-based approach towards labour migration, human trafficking, and women’s rights to work and mobility in the respective countries and regions
- Work at the grassroots level with migrant and trafficked women in different capacities (e.g. service provision, community support, organising, etc.)
- Are willing and able to commit to collaborating with GAATW-IS and other project partners for a period of approximately three years
- Are committed to undertaking research and action that involves the active participation and leadership of migrant and trafficked women
- Can identify and promote the participation of 1-2 researchers/field staff to attend the national/regional convenings and capacity-building workshops. These field workers must have existing links in the community where the fieldwork will be conducted
- Can communicate fluently in English.
7. Application procedure
Interested organisations should register their interest online here (Google form) by 6 September 2020. For any information or assistance to fill in the application form, please contact Borislav Gerasimov at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Application form will ask you to include the following information:
- Please outline specific issues and concerns that your organisation is interested in/working on that match the project’s research priorities (as identified in section 3 above). This could be through on-going research and project interests of the organisation, or an emerging area of work that you plan to address in your constituencies. This is to ensure that the research themes of the project are in alignment with your organisation’s existing priorities.
- Please demonstrate how participation in this project (research and advocacy) supports the on-going work of the organisation in promoting migrant and trafficked women’s rights in your country. This is to ensure that the knowledge produced from this project will have continuity; the project should complement/strengthen your existing efforts to carry out research and advocacy with migrant and trafficked women.
- Reference letter/contact details of an organisation that knows your work well (this could be another NGO, an international organisation, a UN agency or a donor but preferably a GAATW member, see the full list of GAATW members on the websiteunder the menu Members). The organisation should be able to testify to your capacity and reliability to perform the planned activities.
Selected organisations will be informed shortly after the applications deadline.