AMAL - Empowerment and protection of migrant women
The project in brief
The project is implemented by France terre d'asile and the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) in France. It began in 2023 and is currently ongoing.
The AMAL project allows for various actions to be implemented, benefitting women asylum seekers and refugees as well as social workers and other professionnals, in order to provide adequate responses to the specific needs of migrant women, to adress gender inequalities and to promote migrant women’s empowerment.
The AMAL project aims to improve the reception conditions for migrant women in France and in Europe through various actions undertaken during the three-year duration of the project. Another of its objectives is to contribute to the mainstreaming of a gender approach of migration issues both at the French and European Union level.
Main activities of the Good Practice
The 4 pillars of the AMAL project are:
- Direct support for women, with the setting up of a social, medical and psychological service in a first-reception facility in Paris, the provision of French language classes for women asylum-seekers during their asylum procedure with an integrated childcare solution in several of France terre d’asile’s housing centres, the implementation a childcare solution for refugee women in Paris to facilitate their economic integration, and the organisation of workshops on gender equality issues for both men and women asylum-seekers;
- Training and expertise, with the implementation of trainings for social workers regarding the rights and needs of migrant women and the development of supporting tools (guides, factsheets, etc.) to support the integration of a gender approach in their professional practice;
- Advocacy, both at the French and EU level, with the elaboration of advocacy recommendations to better take into account the rights and needs of migrant women in public policies, and the identification of best practices as well as the organisation of experience-sharing opportunities between organisations;
- Research, with the conduct of research on the situation of isolated women asylum-seekers, with or without children, in France.
Elements which helped facilitate the implementation of the good practice
This project benefitted from private funding. It was also anchored in pre-existing structures dedicated to providing social support to migrant people, which means we were able to target the specific needs of migrant women.
- At the EU level, the project is implemented with the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) : https://ecre.org/
What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?
The project is in its first year of implementation which means that a complete evaluation is not yet available.
Some of the main challenges faced during this first year of implementation are linked to the general difficulties faced by migrant women in seeing their rights fulfilled and accessing the adequate services to provide for their needs. This is for example the case with regards to access to health services : while our medical, psychological and social unit set up in our first-reception facility in Paris aims to facilitate the referral of the women in the general health system, some obstacles can still be observed (overload of the services, language barriers and sometimes discrimination).
Another set of challenges is with regards to the recruitment of qualified professionals: midwives, social workers specialised in migration issues, as well as early childhood professionals are a rare resource and their professions are undervalued.
How they were overcome
Similarly, we will have a better overview of the challenges and the solutions that we tried to implement to overcome them once the midway mark of the project will have been reached.
With regards to facing and overcoming the general difficulties faces by women, this issue has been integrated in the project through its advocacy pillar. Our advocacy recommendations will be based on the implementation and evaluation of the project and aim to address those difficulties.
With regards to the recruitment of qualified professionals, our organisation has engaged in various advocacy efforts in order to support social sector professionals. The issue of training has also been integrated in the project through the second pillar, with the objective of skill improvement and capacity building for social workers.
Results of the Good Practice
Our expected outcomes for the project are:
- migrant women are better informed on their rights with regards to their health, as well as to gender-based violence
- their overall health is improved from accessing health services early-on after their arrival in France
- they have benefitted from language classes
- they have benefitted from childcare services
- they have benefitted from training and/or job opportunities
- the programmes dedicated to supporting migrant people have integrated a gender approach
- professionals working with migrant women are better informed about their rights and needs.
In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The AMAL project supports migrant women's empowerment through the direct support actions implemented in the project (bettering overall health conditions and access to health services, supporting integration through language classes, social support with regards to training and employment, access to childcare services), through capacity building for professionals, as well as through advocacy efforts.
The AMAL project is funded through private funds and one of our objectives is to mainstream at least some of the actions implemented through the project in the general and public-funded services provided to asylum-seekers and refugees in France.
We strive to be able to expand the actions implemented in the project so that they may benefit a larger number of migrant women, and we aspire to improve reception conditions for all migrant women across France and Europe.