The project aimed to develop support mechanisms for migrant women (mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean) who are victims of sexual violence or forced prostitution through trafficking in Upper Austria.
This project comprised a range of activities: counselling and support services; monthly workshops on relevant issues; training in languages for migrant women; production of a monthly radio show and other cultural events, as well as networking and information campaigns.
Throughout the project, women looking for help and counselling were supported, for example in searching for employment, in divorce cases, or on legal issues (especially immigration laws).
In order to reach a greater number of women, MAIZ recruited several women to act as agents in supporting other women in their own self-help process. The agents and other women were involved in developing and implementing educational courses for the target group. Through this, constant feedback was received and the material was modelled to flexibly fit the needs of these women.
Awareness of the issues of trafficking and exploitation was increased through cultural events (theatre, performance, pantomime, painting, sculpture, writing). New media, such as the Internet, were also used as tools, as were radio and video. Monthly radio shows and cultural events served a dual purpose: as an incentive for the women working in the project as disseminators; and as informal events where the target group could contact others, while simultaneously promoting the support services available.
1. Cultural events are a good way of communicating issues to the greater public. The format chosen should be based on a thorough understanding of the best ways to reach the target public. Consulting with the target group is of great importance to ensure that the right format is chosen.
2. The same is true of developing educational and information materials. Involving representatives of the target group in developing messages, formats and ways to deliver the materials (for example, through a centre or on the streets) is the best way to ensure that the materials are relevant and have impact.
. Poster-sized fold-out leaflet with details of the campaign (German)
. Publication on the laws in Austria, destined mostly for women from Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish)
. Brochure (Spanish)