On 1 October, IOM the Netherlands launched the project PROTECT (preventing sexual and gender-based violence against migrants and strengthening support to victims). PROTECT will be carried out in 12 countries throughout Europe, both in countries of arrival and transit. Participating countries are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain.
In the Netherlands, IOM works together with partners Arq Psychotrauma Expert Groep, Rutgers and Pharos to better include refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers in the existing support services for SGBV (sexual and gender-based violence) and to build capacity for professionals who work with these groups, such as professionals in the regional Sexual Assault Centers. Ambassadors with migrant backgrounds will receive training to help to raise awareness, to empower and to inform the targeted migrant communities about SGBV and its prevention. Good practices with regard to addressing SGBV in migrant communities will be identified in all European countries and recommendations will be made for the Dutch context.