Daphne Toolkit

Strategies initiated and developed by Migrant Domestic Workers (MDW) themselves to combat violence - RESPECT

Project Reference Number: 
1999-064-W

Strategies initiated and developed by Migrant Domestic Workers (MDW) themselves to combat violence - RESPECT

Identification and development of strategies initiated and developed by Migrant Domestic Workers (MDW) themselves to combat violence; This includes strategies to combat violence against women and research on how they can best be adapted for MDW.
The network RESPECT :
R ights (Droits)
E quality (Egalité)
S olidarity (Solidarité)
P ower (Pouvoir)
E Europe (Europe)
C o-operation (Coopération)
T oday (Aujourd'hui)

Categories

Beneficiaries:

Comments

Building on research carried out during two previous Daphne-funded projects, this project aimed to investigate and share:
- strategies initiated and developed by Migrant Domestic Workers (MDW) themselves to combat violence;
- strategies for fighting violence against women that have already been developed by relevant European organisations; and
- research on how they can best be adapted for MDW with a particular emphasis on access to services and means of redress.
The project aimed to produce:
- A report on strategies for combating violence against MDWs in the private household in eight member states;
- A report from the Transnational Seminar situating the experiences of MDWs within the broader framework of women's experiences of violence in the home;
- Brief reports from the national seminars indicating those organisations interested in working with the RESPECT network to combat violence against women in the home;
- The identification of a nucleus of ten MEPs who would take a particular interest in the issue of MDWs;
- A proposal to the European Parliament, and in particular to the members of the Committee for drafting a Human Rights Proclamation, of a statement to be included in the Proclamation to address the needs of MDWs;
- National seminars and conferences in order to strengthen the campaign both at the European level and at the national level by identifying specific legislative issues affecting the national parliaments;
- A database of at least 100 organisations working with women, with migrants and with MDWs;
- For RESPECT to form itself as an independent organisation and to apply for membership of the Platform of European Social NGOs.

Lessons and ideas

1. This project raised the visibility of MDWs experiences of violence from their employers across Europe, giving MDWs the opportunity to share their experiences at a national and transnational level. The project showed that violence against MDWs is often unrecognized, unreported and all too often invisible. It showed how the services provided to MDWs (from the police, accommodation providers, healthcare providers, non-statutory organisations and trade unions) is all too often not available and where available is inadequate.
2. An initial difficulty arose due to changes of staff at both Kalayaan and SOLIDAR leaving to other jobs. This created a delay at the start of the project. It was also decided to increase the KALAYAAN staff from half time to full time. These difficulties required additional input from both Kalayaan and SOLIDAR than were originally anticipated and were therefore reflected in increases in expenditure. In order to insure the continuity of the project during the months when the post was vacant and the new persons were trained, a staff member of SOLIDAR was appointed to take care of the follow-up of the project. It is difficult to anticipate staff changes during the life of a project, so it is important to ensure that knowledge about the project, and therefore its running and likelihood of success, are not invested in one person. Small organisations, in particular, and those staffed primarily by volunteers, need to think through carefully, at the planning stage of a project, how any changes in staff (or illness, maternity leave or other absences) will be handled.
3. National meetings were an important and unique means to involve women MDWs in the network that had been set up. MDWs may not have had a chance to access the campaign if the meetings had been purely transnational but they did have the possibility to join the campaign and give their input regarding their demands when the meetings were decentralised and local.
4. The seminars were designed to facilitate MDWs meeting other MDWs to discuss the violence they encounter and to empower MDWs to fight against this violence and to establish relevant strategies that can be transferred at national level.
5. One of the objectives of the project was for the RESPECT network to contribute to the debate on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. SOLIDAR being actively involved in the campaign has included in its position paper a description of the situation of MDWs in Europe. However it was decided that the emphasis should be put on the report of the Women’s Committee of the European Parliament on 'regulating domestic help in the informal sector'. This was a unique occasion to see this issue addressed at the European level. The more detailed the recommendations of the report the easier it would be for RESPECT members to lobby the national parliament, trade union etc.
6. At a Project management team meeting, the partners discussed whether to become an independent organisation and to apply for membership of the Platform of European Social NGOs (as foreseen in the original plans).It was agreed that that was not a priority for RESPECT at that time. It was agreed that RESPECT did not have the capacity to become an independent organisation. As SOLIDAR was already a member of the Platform of European Social NGOs, it was felt that RESPECT could tap into that network through links with SOLIDAR.

Organisations

Lead organisation: 

Material available

Series of reports, RESPECT newsletter and RESPECT leaflet (English, French, Spanish, Italian and German) also available on the web page, Campaign materials, Database