• The vulnerability of women migrant workers in agriculture and the EU: the need for a Human Rights and Gender based approach

    This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, explores the working conditions of migrant women in agriculture in the EU, focusing on some case studies in Italy and Spain. In particular, it aims to examine the factors that render women vulnerable to exploitation, paying attention to gendered dynamics and power relations. The study contends that to prevent and combat exploitation in agriculture it is necessary to implement concerted actions aimed at tackling, from a human rights and gender perspective, the structural factors of a socio-economic system which fosters and relies on workers’ vulnerability.

    https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=IPOL_STU(2018)604966
    #vulnérabilité #genre #femmes #femmes_migrantes #agriculture #UE #EU #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux

    via @isskein

  • Quel droit à l’eau pour les femmes migrantes à Paris ?

    Trois étudiantes présentent leurs recherches sur l’accès à l’eau et à l’#assainissement

    Chaque année, l’École de droit de Sciences Po propose des “Cliniques” : des programmes pédagogiques situés à mi-chemin entre théorie et pratique, articulés autour d’une mission d’intérêt public. Pendant neuf mois, Eline, Ivana et Juliette, étudiantes en première année de Master, ont étudié le sujet de l’accès à l’#eau_potable des populations migrantes, notamment des femmes migrantes, afin d’approfondir l’expertise du collectif #Coalition_Eau. Elles racontent.

    Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de participer à la Clinique de l’École de droit de Sciences Po ?

    Ivana : Je suis étudiante dans le Master Human Rights and Humanitarian Action de l’École des affaires internationales de Sciences Po : poursuivre des études en droits humains peut parfois être trop théorique ; c’est là que le modèle de la Clinique devient très intéressant : le programme Human Rights, Economic Development and Globalisation, propose une approche transversale et assez pratique de ce que signifie être un défenseur des droits humains dans la “vraie vie”. On mélange des études de cas avec des jeux de rôles, et tout au long de l’année on travaille sur un projet de recherche avec une organisation partenaire.

    Avec Eline et Juliette, nous avons travaillé avec le #collectif_Coalition_Eau. Au début de l’année, ça a été un peu une surprise puisqu’aucune de nous trois n’avait postulé pour ce projet sur l’accès à l’eau et à l’assainissement — il nous a été attribué par nos professeurs. Mais aujourd’hui j’aurais du mal à nous imaginer dans un autre projet de Clinique ! C’est un sujet qui nous tient vraiment à coeur. En France, l’accès à l’eau n’est pas considéré comme un droit humain. Certes, il existe un cadre légal autour de l’accès à l’eau, mais il se concentre sur la qualité de celle-ci et non pas sur la garantie d’un accès universel. Ce projet nous a aussi permis de mettre en avant le fait que les problématiques d’accès à l’eau et à l’assainissement ne sont pas exclusives aux pays en développement.

    Pouvez-vous nous décrire les principaux enjeux liés au droit à l’eau pour les femmes migrantes en France aujourd’hui ?

    Eline : En France, 1,4 millions de personnes sont déconnectées du réseau d’eau potable : elles doivent utiliser les services basiques proposés par l’État, comme les fontaines, les toilettes et les douches publiques. On compte environ 250 000 personnes sans-abri, dont 20% à 40% de femmes. Invisibles et invisibilisées, ces femmes sont pourtant celles qui souffrent le plus de cette déconnexion. En tant que femmes, elles sont confrontées à des difficultés spécifiques, comme la gestion de leurs menstruations et le contact avec des toilettes non-conformes aux normes d’hygiène. Non seulement ces femmes sont plus exposées aux risques d’infections urinaires et vaginales et de maladies dermatologiques que les hommes en raison du faible accès à l’eau et à l’assainissement, mais la plupart d’entre elles se sentent en insécurité et utilisent ces services avec la crainte d’être agressées. Ces exemples montrent que la mise en place d’installations unisexes et mixtes ne garantit pas une égalité d’accès.

    Ivana : Lorsque l’on étudie le droit à l’accès à l’eau, on distingue l’eau destinée à la consommation humaine — c’est à dire l’eau potable —, et l’eau utilisée pour se laver, qui correspond à l’assainissement. Nous avons travaillé sur ces deux aspects, et il apparaît que le droit à l’assainissement est le plus problématique : comme l’a dit Eline, la peur de subir des agressions désincite certaines femmes à utiliser les services sanitaires de la ville de Paris qui sont mixtes ; de plus, dans tout la ville, seulement neuf toilettes publiques possèdent une table à langer. Les besoins spécifiques des femmes ne sont pas assez pris en compte dans l’offre de services sanitaires : seules 1,5% des infrastructures existantes prennent en compte ces spécificités et les incluent dans leur offre de services.

    Quelles recommandations avez-vous formulées suite à votre analyse ? Existe-t-il des solutions ?

    Juliette : Au regard de la situation dont nous avons été témoins, nous avons formulé des recommandations au plus près des besoins et à plus ou moins long terme. Premièrement, de manière transversale et systématique, nous recommandons la participation des femmes concernées aux processus de décision. C’est une nécessité à la fois d’un point de vue pratique — car elles sont les mieux placées pour connaître leur réalité — mais aussi car le public concerné par une situation est le plus légitime pour intervenir dans des décisions le concernant.
    Une autre recommandation primordiale, à plus long terme, est la reconnaissance formelle par la France du droit humain à l’eau et à l’assainissement. Ce droit a été reconnu comme tel par les Nations Unies il y a maintenant dix ans et la France doit en faire de même.

    De manière plus immédiate, nous recommandons l’installation de davantage de points d’eau, de douches, de sanitaires et de lieux d’accueil spécifiquement dédiées aux femmes ; le groupe des femmes n’étant pas un groupe homogène, une constante et nécessaire attention devra être portée à la prise en compte des besoins relatifs à chaque situation : le statut migratoire, la langue parlée, les enfants, l’ancienneté dans la rue, les violences subies, etc.

    Enfin, nous recommandons ardemment de relancer le programme de l’INSEE d’enquête et de production de données sur la population sans abri ; les dernières données officielles remontent à 2012. Or, la collecte régulière et détaillée de statistiques est indispensable au respect des droits humains : il n’est pas possible de les mettre en oeuvre si les personnes laissées pour compte sont invisibles.

    Donc en définitive : oui les solutions existent, et la ville de Paris reste un bon exemple en la matière. Néanmoins, tant que ces problématiques ne gagneront pas en visibilité, tant que les victimes ne seront pas écoutées, tant que l’accès à l’eau ne sera pas universel dans son application, la situation n’évoluera pas.

    Comment la crise liée au Coronavirus Covid-19 impacte-t-elle l’accès à l’eau des personnes migrantes ?

    Eline : La crise du Coronavirus Covid-19 a montré qu’il était plus que jamais crucial que les principes fondamentaux des #droits_humains soient respectés. Lorsque l’on dit que "se laver les mains peut sauver des vies" mais que des centaines de personnes — et notamment des femmes — migrantes et sans abri n’ont pas accès ni à l’eau potable, ni à du savon, cela met en lumière les profondes inégalités qui traversent notre société.
    Nous savons que beaucoup de migrantes vivent dans des campements de fortune autour de Paris, où il est impossible de mettre en place la distanciation sociale et le confinement. Les femmes migrantes sont aussi davantage mal logées, dans des petits espaces collectifs où les installations sanitaires sont partagées entre les habitants, augmentant considérablement le risque de contracter le virus. De plus, les femmes migrantes occupant habituellement des emplois informels — comme la garde d’enfants, la vente de nourriture dans la rue ou du ménage — elles ont perdu une source de revenu.

    Un autre point important est soulevé dans notre recherche : le fait que les femmes sans abri ont souvent d’importants problèmes de santé, qui sont parfois causés par un manque d’accès à l’eau et à l’assainissement ; et l’on sait que le Coronavirus est très dangereux pour ces personnes….

    En d’autres termes : la crise du Coronavirus fait non seulement courir un risque plus important aux personnes dont les droits fondamentaux ne sont pas respectés — c’est notamment le cas des femmes migrantes et de leur droit à l’accès à l’eau — mais amplifie aussi les problématiques préexistantes. C’est pour cette raison que nous appelons le gouvernement français à reconnaître ces droits humains fondamentaux pour toutes et tous et à garantir à toutes les femmes, quelles que soient leurs conditions de logement ou leurs parcours migratoires, un accès à l’eau potable et à l’assainissement.

    https://www.sciencespo.fr/programme-presage/fr/actualites/quel-droit-l-eau-pour-les-femmes-migrantes-paris

    #eau #droit_à_l'eau #eau #femmes #femmes_migrantes #Paris #law_clinic #droits_fondamentaux #pandémie #covid-19 #coronavirus

  • Les #damnées_de_la_mer. #Femmes et #frontières en #Méditerranée

    Longtemps, les femmes ont été absentes du grand récit des migrations. On les voyait plutôt, telles des Pénélope africaines, attendre leur époux, patientes et sédentaires. Il n’était pas question de celles qui émigraient seules. Elles sont pourtant nombreuses à quitter leur foyer et leurs proches, et à entreprendre la longue traversée du désert et de la Méditerranée.
    Fondé sur une recherche au long cours, menée aux marges de l’Europe, en #Italie et à #Malte, ce livre est une enquête sur la trace des survivantes. Au fil des récits recueillis, il restitue leurs parcours, de déchirements en errance, de rencontres en opportunités. Entre persécutions, désir d’autonomie et envie d’ailleurs, les causes de leur départ sont loin d’être simples et linéaires.
    Les Damnées de la mer offre ainsi une remarquable plongée dans leur vie quotidienne, dans des centres d’accueil où leur trajectoire est suspendue, dans l’attente d’une reconnaissance de cette Europe qui souvent les rejette. L’ennui et la marginalisation sont omniprésents. Mais ces femmes sont également résistantes et stratèges, à la recherche de lignes de fuite.
    En restituant les multiples facettes de ces destinées, ce livre décline l’histoire des migrations en Méditerranée au féminin. Il refuse les clichés binaires qui opposent la migrante-victime à la migrante-héroïne pour adopter le point de vue de l’#expérience des femmes : non sans tensions, l’#autonomie qu’elles mettent à l’épreuve apparaît à la fois comme le support et l’horizon de leur projet migratoire.

    https://www.editionsladecouverte.fr/les_damnees_de_la_mer-9782348041075

    #livre #Camille_Schmoll #migrations #asile #réfugiés #femmes_migrantes

  • #Webinar COVID-19: Migrant women in #Europe resisting increased abuse and precariousness, 8-7-2020

    Each webinar will share common experiences of migrant women and girls -refugees, domestic workers, those part of family reunification, undocumented, etc.- coping under COVID measures in Europe. It will highlight how migrant women have worked together to provide essential support, safe spaces, and collective action through campaigning and advocacy. It will outline experiences in Germany, Spain, Serbia and Belgium and Europe, including providing political recommendations, such as for the EU recovery fund.

    Tatiana Retamozo Quintana, Chair of the Latin-American and Caribbean women’s network (RED), Spain;
    Oluwakemi Oyewole Kimi Advocacy group of NGO Atina, Serbia;
    Silvia Zúñiga Feminists for Nicaragua, Basque country, Spain;
    Nurhidayah Hassan, WIDE+, France.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19vHbQR_SV4&feature=youtu.be

    #femmes #covid-19 #genre #femmes_migrantes #coronavirus #précarité #abus #migrations

    ping @thomas_lacroix

  • Toujours pas de vols de #rapatriement pour les #employées_de_maison migrantes

    Le retour des travailleurs étrangers doit se faire selon un mécanisme qui respecte leurs droits, selon l’Organisation internationale du travail.

    Les premières opérations de #rapatriement de #travailleuses_migrantes devaient débuter hier, avaient annoncé les autorités libanaises. Un avion devait venir d’Addis-Abeba pour ramener chez elles des employées de maison éthiopiennes particulièrement touchées par la crise libanaise économico-financière et davantage fragilisées par la #pandémie de #coronavirus. Mais l’opération n’a pas eu lieu. Selon l’ambassade d’Éthiopie, ce vol n’était toujours pas programmé. « Nous n’avons pas encore annoncé de date », se contente de dire à L’Orient-Le Jour le consul d’Éthiopie, Aklilu Tatere. Mais du côté de la Sûreté générale, on indique que « l’Éthiopie n’aurait pas trouvé d’avion » pour rapatrier les travailleuses éthiopiennes en situation de grande #vulnérabilité coincées au Liban. « L’opération pourrait avoir lieu d’ici à deux jours », estime le porte-parole de la Sûreté générale, le général Nabil Hannoun, précisant que « la décision revient aux autorités éthiopiennes ». Car le rôle de la SG, en cette période exceptionnelle, est de donner le feu vert aux ambassades, après s’être assurée de l’identité des travailleuses migrantes, dont une grande partie est en situation irrégulière. « Nous régularisons leur situation sans contrepartie financière pour leur permettre de quitter le pays, à la condition qu’elles ne fassent pas l’objet d’une plainte judiciaire », affirme le responsable.

    Les coûts exorbitants du #retour

    Dans ce cadre, de nombreuses employées de maison éthiopiennes, philippines, bangladaises ou d’autres nationalités se pressent aux portes de leurs consulats, dans une volonté de quitter le pays du Cèdre. Même chose du côté des travailleurs étrangers, ouvriers, pompistes, éboueurs… Car travailler au Liban ne leur convient plus. Avec la dépréciation de la #livre_libanaise et la #paupérisation des employeurs libanais, leurs salaires fondent comme neige au soleil. Payées dans la monnaie nationale depuis la pénurie de dollars, alors que la promesse d’embauche était basée sur un #salaire en #dollars, les employées de maison touchent désormais le tiers, voire le quart de leur salaire initial. Et puis les #transferts_d’argent sont de plus en plus difficiles. Une situation à laquelle vient s’ajouter la crise du coronavirus, qui a mis des milliers de travailleuses au #chômage, #femmes_de_ménage ou #employées_domestiques. L’AFP rapporte le cas de Sophia notamment, une travailleuse domestique éthiopienne sous contrat, renvoyée et jetée dans la rue sans salaire, sans valise, sans passeport et qui n’a qu’un but désormais : rentrer chez elle. Alors, elle attend une promesse de rapatriement devant l’ambassade d’Éthiopie à Hazmieh, comme nombre de ses compatriotes. Or il est de notoriété publique que nombre de pays voient d’un mauvais œil le retour de leur #main-d’œuvre qui viendrait grossir les rangs des chômeurs en ces temps de crise mondiale.

    L’ambassade des Philippines a déjà rapatrié 618 employées de maison depuis le mois de décembre 2019, selon le vice-consul des Philippines, Edward Chan. La crise financière battait déjà son plein, et près de 2 000 demandes de rapatriement avaient été déposées, principalement des travailleuses non documentées qui avaient fui le domicile de leur employeur. « La pandémie de Covid-19 a interrompu le processus », regrette-t-il. Aujourd’hui, de nouveaux défis se posent, liés au #prix prohibitif des #billets_d’avion. « Affréter un charter coûterait une fortune, sachant que le billet Beyrouth-Manille coûte aujourd’hui entre 1 200 et 2 300 dollars », affirme M. Chan à L’Orient-Le Jour, précisant que « le consulat apporte un soutien financier aux travailleuses philippines pour leur permettre de rentrer chez elles ».

    Pour un #retour_volontaire et non forcé

    Une autre question se pose. Que deviendront les plaintes auprès des autorités libanaises des travailleuses domestiques victimes d’abus, de mauvais traitements ou de non-paiement de leurs salaires et qui décident de quitter le Liban ?

    Si le consulat philippin assure un ferme suivi des dossiers de ses ressortissantes auprès du ministère du Travail, sauf en cas de désistement, de nombreuses employées de maison migrantes n’auront jamais gain de cause, malgré les #abus dont elles ont été victimes.

    C’est la raison pour laquelle l’Organisation internationale du travail insiste pour que le retour des travailleurs migrants du Liban, et plus particulièrement des employées de maison, se déroule selon un mécanisme qui respecte leurs #droits. « Il faut d’abord que ce retour soit volontaire et non forcé. Car la travailleuse doit avoir le #choix entre trouver un autre emploi sur place ou partir, au cas où l’employeur n’aurait plus les moyens de respecter ses engagements », affirme la porte-parole de l’OIT, Zeina Mezher. « Il est aussi impératif que le rapatriement des travailleuses étrangères du Liban, touchées par la double #crise_économique et sanitaire, ne soit pas un prétexte pour les délester de leurs droits », ajoute-t-elle. D’autant plus que celles qui désirent quitter le pays sont généralement les plus vulnérables. Pour avoir fui un employeur abusif, elles sont souvent sans documents d’identité. « D’où la nécessité, précise la porte-parole, que l’employeur assume la responsabilité du billet d’avion comme prévu par le contrat de travail, même lorsque son employée a quitté le domicile. » Une réponse qui vient en marge d’une réunion virtuelle destinée à identifier les problèmes de la main-d’œuvre migrante au Liban en ces temps exceptionnels, organisée hier par l’OIT et l’OIM (Organisation internationale des migrations) et qui a réuni tous les acteurs locaux et internationaux, dans le but d’y apporter une réponse globale.

    https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1218891/toujours-pas-de-vols-de-rapatriement-pour-les-employees-de-maison-mig
    #employé_domestique #employé_de_maison #migrations #femmes #crise_sanitaires #covid-19 #femmes_migrantes #Liban #Ethiopie #Philippines #Bangladesh #remittances #travail_domestique #travailleuses_domestiques

    ping @isskein @_kg_ @tony_rublon @thomas_lacroix

    • « Je veux rentrer au Soudan, je peux à peine manger à ma faim ! »

      Terrassés par la crise, des Soudanais tentent l’improbable traversée vers Israël.

      La crise économique et financière qui secoue le Liban impacte de plus en plus les travailleurs étrangers qui, avec la fermeture de l’aéroport en mars dernier, se retrouvent prisonniers dans un pays devenu trop cher pour eux et où ils voient leurs revenus fondre parallèlement à la chute libre de la livre face au billet vert.

      La forte dépréciation monétaire et l’explosion du chômage ont même provoqué un phénomène inédit à la frontière libano-israélienne, sous étroite surveillance, rapporte l’AFP sous la plume de Bachir el-Khoury à Beyrouth et Rosie Scammell à Jérusalem, en précisant que depuis début mai, au moins 16 Soudanais ont été interpellés alors qu’ils tentaient de traverser de nuit cette zone à hauts risques, gardée par les soldats de la Finul et de l’armée.

      Le dernier en date avait été retrouvé mercredi dernier par des soldats israéliens, caché dans une canalisation d’eau. Il a été interrogé par l’armée israélienne, avant d’être renvoyé de l’autre côté de la frontière, indiquent les deux auteurs.

      Des deux côtés, on s’accorde toutefois à dire que ces récentes tentatives de franchissement sont uniquement motivées par des considérations financières.

      « Selon l’enquête préliminaire », elles « ne revêtent aucune motivation sécuritaire ou d’espionnage », confirme une source de sécurité libanaise, sous le couvert de l’anonymat.

      La semaine dernière, l’armée libanaise avait découvert à la frontière le corps criblé de balles d’un Soudanais, tué dans des circonstances non élucidées à ce jour. Au cours des dernières semaines, elle avait procédé à plusieurs interpellations de Soudanais tentant de rallier Israël.

      À peine de quoi manger

      « Je veux rentrer au Soudan car la vie est devenue très chère ici. Je peux à peine manger à ma faim », déplore Issa, 27 ans, employé dans un supermarché de la banlieue sud de Beyrouth.

      Son salaire mensuel de 500 000 livres vaut désormais moins de 100 dollars, contre 333 avant la crise.

      Plus de 1 000 Soudanais se sont inscrits auprès de leur ambassade à Beyrouth dans l’espoir d’être rapatriés, sur les quelque 4 000 vivant au Liban, selon Abdallah Malek, de l’Association des jeunes Soudanais au Liban, cité par l’agence de presse.

      Ceux qui optent pour une tentative de départ vers l’État hébreu auraient des proches ou des connaissances au sein de la communauté soudanaise en Israël. Selon des informations récoltées par l’armée israélienne, il s’agit notamment d’employés du secteur de la restauration, qui ont organisé leur fuite via les réseaux sociaux.

      Protection humanitaire

      Impossible de déterminer le nombre exact ayant réussi à franchir la frontière pour s’installer en Israël. Un, au moins, Mohammad Abchar Abakar, est en détention depuis plusieurs mois après son arrestation en janvier par l’armée israélienne. L’ONG « Hotline pour les réfugiés et migrants » s’est mobilisée pour obtenir sa libération fin avril. Elle n’a pas encore pu le voir en raison de la pandémie de Covid-19.

      « Il nous a dit qu’il voulait demander l’asile », dit la porte-parole de cette ONG, Shira Abbo. Là encore, les chances de réussite sont maigres : ces dernières années, Israël a accordé le statut de réfugié à... un seul Soudanais, sur une communauté estimée à 6 000 personnes. La majorité d’entre eux ont une demande d’asile en cours d’étude depuis des années, qui leur permet de travailler provisoirement. Environ un millier ont obtenu un statut alternatif de « protection humanitaire ».

      La plupart des Soudanais en Israël ont commencé à affluer en 2007, empruntant une route là aussi périlleuse via le Sinaï égyptien. Longtemps poreuse, cette frontière a depuis été renforcée par l’État hébreu. Aujourd’hui, Mme Abbo déplore le refoulement des travailleurs interceptés par l’armée israélienne. « Si quelqu’un affirme vouloir demander l’asile, il doit au moins avoir la possibilité de rencontrer des spécialistes dans la prise en charge de ce type de population », dit-elle.

      Avec l’absence de la moindre relation entre les deux pays voisins, il n’existe évidemment aucune coopération bilatérale sur ce dossier.

      https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1223224/-je-veux-rentrer-au-soudan-je-peux-a-peine-manger-a-ma-faim-.html
      #réfugiés #réfugiés_soudanais #faim #alimentation #nourriture

    • #Beyrouth  : les travailleuses domestiques veulent rentrer chez elles

      Souvent indécentes, les conditions de vie et de travail des employées domestiques migrantes au Liban se sont encore aggravées avec la crise économique qui ravage le pays. Cette crise a en effet poussé de nombreux employeurs et employeuses à abandonner leurs domestiques, sans argent ni papiers, devant l’ambassade du pays dont elles/ils sont originaires. Mais l’explosion du 4 août à Beyrouth renforce l’urgence de la situation pour ces migrant·es, en grande majorité des femmes, qui demandent juste à pouvoir rentrer chez elles/eux.

      Il existe environ 250.000 travailleuses domestiques au Liban, venues de pays asiatiques et africains dans l’espoir de gagner suffisamment d’argent pour subvenir aux besoins de leur famille restée au pays. Ne relevant pas du Code du travail, ces personnes sont soumises au système de la kafala  : elles sont «  parrainées  » par un·e employeur/euse qui en est donc légalement responsable. Bien souvent, cela revient à avoir son passeport confisqué, mais aussi, dans de nombreux cas, à ne pas recevoir son salaire et à subir des abus. Dans un rapport de 2019 consacré à «  l’exploitation des travailleuses domestiques migrantes au Liban  », Amnesty International dénonce «  des atteintes graves et systématiques aux droits humains imputables aux employeurs.  » L’organisation pointe notamment «  des horaires de travail journaliers indécents, l’absence de jours de repos, le non-versement ou la réduction de leur salaire, la confiscation de leur passeport, de graves restrictions à leur liberté de mouvement et de communication, le manque de nourriture, l’absence de logement convenable, des violences verbales et physiques, et la privation de soins médicaux. Des cas extrêmes de travail forcé et de traite des êtres humains  » ont également été rapportés.

      Les conditions de vie et de travail des employées domestiques migrantes se sont encore aggravées avec la crise économique qui a frappé le Liban dès 2019. Cette crise du secteur financier, qui a eu comme résultat de dévaluer la livre libanaise et de provoquer une inflation évaluée à 56,6 % en mai, a durement frappé les classes moyennes. Appauvries, ces familles n’ont plus les moyens de payer le salaire d’une domestique. Dans bien des cas, ces femmes ont juste été abandonnées par leur employeur/euse, sans argent et sans régularisation de leur situation pour pouvoir partir, tout cela en pleine pandémie de

      Une situation aggravée par l’explosion

      L’explosion du port de Beyrouth le 4 août dernier ne fait que rendre la situation des travailleuses domestiques encore plus désespérée. «  Les employeurs n’ont plus les moyens. La plupart étaient pauvres avant les multiples problèmes économiques et sanitaires suivis de l’explosion massive  », explique Dipendra Uprety, fondateur du groupe de mobilisation This is Lebanon. «  Les travailleuses migrantes n’ont pas été payées depuis des mois. Et si elles l’ont été, c’est en livres libanaises, ça n’a désormais aucune valeur. Elles travaillent 14 heures par jour pour [l’équivalent de] 30 dollars par mois [environ 25 euros, ndlr].  »

      Pour qu’une travailleuse puisse partir du pays, la Sûreté Générale [organisme sous l’autorité du ministère de l’Intérieur et des Municipalités] doit contrôler les conditions de départ de celle-ci auprès de son employeur/euse, un processus qui prend habituellement entre deux et trois mois. De nombreuses migrantes sont aussi bloquées au Liban sans papiers depuis des mois et parfois des années. Deux solutions s’offrent alors à elles  : payer des amendes astronomiques et partir après avoir obtenu un laissez-passer, ou se retrouver en prison dans des conditions dramatiques. Sans compter le prix du billet, entre 400 et 700 dollars [entre 340 et 590 euros environ, ndlr] selon les pays d’origine.
      Abandonnées à la rue

      «  Il s’agit d’un moment terrible pour les travailleuses domestiques  », raconte Farah Salka, directrice exécutive du Mouvement Anti-Raciste (ARM). «  Cette année a été très dure pour tout le monde au Liban… Si vous imaginiez un cauchemar, vous ne pourriez pas imaginer ça. Et maintenant, vous pouvez multiplier les dommages par dix pour les travailleuses domestiques. Elles demandent juste à rentrer chez elles  ! Elles sont encore sous le choc de l’explosion, comme nous. Certaines ont disparu, certaines sont mortes, les autres sont parfois blessées, et elles ne reçoivent aucun soutien pendant cette crise. Et au milieu de ce chaos, elles sont abandonnées à la rue. C’est devenu une scène commune à Beyrouth  : des centaines de migrantes à même le sol, sans abri.  »

      Les employé·es et volontaires d’ARM passent leurs journées à traiter des cas, traduire, assister administrativement, financièrement, médicalement, et lever des fonds pour permettre aux migrantes en possession de papiers de payer leur billet. «  Il faut une armée pour gérer tout ça, tout relève de l’urgence, ajoute Farah Salka. Elles sont à un stade où elles se fichent de leurs droits, de l’argent qui leur est dû. Elles veulent juste laisser ce cauchemar derrière elles et partir. Et je vais être honnête, n’importe où est mieux qu’ici.  »

      Un groupe d’activistes éthiopiennes, Egna Legna Besidet, est aussi sur le terrain, surtout depuis le début de la crise économique. L’une des membres, Zenash Egna, explique qu’elle n’a plus de mots pour décrire la situation  : «  La vie des travailleuses migrantes n’est pas bonne au Liban. Déjà avant la crise économique, la pandémie et l’explosion, on secourait des femmes battues, violées, qui s’enfuyaient sans papiers et sans argent. Tout ça a juste augmenté, c’est terrible. Le monde doit savoir quel enfer c’est de vivre sous le système de la kafala.  » En ligne, de nombreux témoignages de femmes désespérées abondent. Devant leur consulat, des Kényanes ont aussi manifesté, demandant à leur pays de les rapatrier.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuhBhNRjxp4&feature=emb_logo

      «  Il est temps pour nous de partir  »

      Une domestique nigériane appelée Oluwayemi, 30 ans, a confié à axelle son calvaire personnel. Arrivée en juin 2019 au Liban, elle raconte avoir été traitée comme une esclave par ses employeurs/euses. «  Puis ils m’ont renvoyée de la maison, sans argent et sans passeport. Ils m’ont juste dit «  Pars  ». Avec la crise économique, tout est pire au Liban. Je pense qu’il est temps pour nous de partir. L’explosion a tué des domestiques nigérianes, d’autres ont été blessées, les maisons ont été détruites. J’ai eu tellement peur, je veux que l’on m’aide et que je puisse retourner dans mon pays. Je veux que l’on m’aide, vraiment, parce que je ne veux pas retourner au Nigeria et devenir une prostituée, ou une voleuse. Je veux que mon futur soit beau, je veux monter mon propre commerce. Je prie pour que l’on m’aide.  »

      Une autre domestique nigériane qui souhaite rester anonyme raconte qu’elle a été jetée de chez son employeur sans argent, téléphone, vêtements ou papiers après sept mois d’abus physiques. Elle a également plaidé pour recevoir de l’aide, insistant sur le fait qu’il n’y a plus rien au Liban pour les travailleuses migrantes  : «  Il n’y a pas d’argent, pas de travail, pas de nourriture. Je veux partir.  »
      Faire pression pour faciliter le retour des migrantes

      Pour que la situation se débloque, il faudrait que les pays d’origine et la Sûreté Générale se mettent d’accord pour faciliter le retour des ressortissantes bloquées au Liban. «  On doit mettre la pression sur les consulats et les ambassades pour qu’ils prennent enfin la situation au sérieux. La Sûreté Générale doit supprimer ses enquêtes, exempter les travailleuses de leurs amendes et approuver leur départ avec des laissez-passer pour celles qui n’ont pas leurs papiers, explique Farah Salka. Mais aussi, on a besoin d’argent, de tellement d’argent pour payer les billets d’avion. C’est inimaginable.  »

      Pour Dipendra Uprety, le mot à appliquer est «  amnistie  »  : «  Des efforts ponctuels ne peuvent pas répondre aux besoins. La seule solution possible est que la Sûreté Générale accorde une amnistie générale à ces femmes, ce qui équivaudra à des centaines de milliers de documents de voyage temporaires. L’argent commence à affluer maintenant pour les billets d’avion, la nourriture et les soins médicaux, mais les travailleurs sociaux ne sont pas assez nombreux pour répondre à tous les besoins [notamment en termes d’hébergement, ndlr].  »
      Dépasser le racisme

      Au-delà de l’urgence de la situation, le racisme est toujours bien présent dans les mentalités libanaises, même après l’explosion. Ainsi, la liste des personnes mortes et disparues est toujours incomplète  : les noms et visages des victimes étrangères non occidentales ne sont tout simplement pas mentionnés. Un texte publié par l’ARM le 13 août dit que  : «  Ce n’est pas un hasard. Les travailleurs migrants et les réfugiés sont systématiquement déshumanisés et marginalisés au Liban, dans la vie comme dans la mort.  »

      Selon Farah Salka, le Liban devrait se préparer à changer  : «  J’espère qu’aucune nouvelle femme ne viendra en tant que travailleuse domestique avant qu’on ne répare tout ça. J’espère que le Liban sera prêt, parce que c’est horrible. Si nous n’apprenons pas maintenant, je ne sais pas quand ou si nous pourrons apprendre.  »

      https://www.axellemag.be/beyrouth-les-travailleuses-domestiques-veulent-rentrer-chez-elles

  • Femmes migrantes, encore plus fragiles en temps d’#épidémie

    Au bas de l’échelle de la #précarité, ces femmes en migration qui voient se restreindre les possibilités d’#accueil et l’accès au système de #santé sont encore plus en danger.

    Ce n’est un secret pour personne, les #inégalités sont criantes devant la maladie du Covid-19 même si tout le monde y est exposé. L’#état_d’urgence_sanitaire laisse des populations entières sans protection, loin de tous dispositifs d’accueil et de prise en charge médicale et hospitalière. Nous voulons parler ici des centaines de femmes migrantes sans existence officielle ou demandeuses d’asile sans protection sociale ni matérielle. A ce dénuement du corps et de la dégradation brutale de leur état de santé, s’ajoutent les multiples violences dont elles font l’objet. #Victimes, elles le sont à plusieurs titres : socialement, sexuellement, psychologiquement, administrativement.

    L’augmentation des violences faites aux femmes lors du #confinement est réelle. Mais on peut se demander quel sens peut avoir la notion même de « confinement » pour ces #femmes_précaires dans une période où les liens entre #pouvoir et #violences sont mis à nu, la perte du premier exacerbant les seconds. Dans ce contexte, le climat de #peur les incite à l’#évitement ou l’(auto)exclusion de l’#espace_public sauf pour celles qui restent soumises à la loi du plus fort dans l’espace fermé de l’#appartement ou l’espace ouvert de la #rue. Rien ne leur est épargné. La peur des contrôles de police et la méconnaissance du fonctionnement des institutions les mettent à la merci de prédateurs, qui prolongeront en France leur calvaire.

    Généralement sans statut légal, ce sont des femmes seules, enceintes sans conjoint avec ou sans enfants. Ces dernières années, la décision inique de restreindre l’accès au système de santé pour les populations migrantes se révèle catastrophique aujourd’hui dans l’urgence de contenir la pandémie.

    Santé

    Nous savons par nos expériences professionnelles et nos enquêtes que les situations de forts #déclassements et d’#humiliations_sociales s’accompagnent le plus souvent de complications graves de santé. C’est encore plus vrai pour des migrants hommes et femmes ayant parcouru des milliers de kilomètres dans les pires conditions. Leur arrivée en Europe (quand ils y arrivent) ne va jamais sans une dégradation du corps et de la santé : blessures accidentelles, hypothermie, brûlures, problèmes cardiovasculaires, diabète, hypertension, etc. Les femmes migrantes sont quant à elles confrontées à des problèmes spécifiques touchant notamment à la santé de la mère, du nouveau-né et de l’enfant, à la santé sexuelle et reproductive et une exposition plus grande aux violences sexuelles et aux maladies sexuellement transmissibles.

    Les déplacements forcés rendent la continuité des soins périlleuse pour certaines maladies chroniques y compris en France quand les traumatismes des violences sexuelles nécessitent des prises en charge spécifiques complexes et sur le long terme. Ainsi les effets du stress post-traumatique liés aux violences sont manifestes lors de leur parcours de soins : difficulté à se concentrer, incapacité à agir efficacement, remémoration douloureuse de l’agression, troubles amnésiques liés à la contradiction de devoir raconter et d’oublier, terreurs nocturnes et anxiété, autant de contraintes qui altèrent leur capacité à faire valoir leurs droits.

    Les réseaux de solidarité plus ou moins précaires sont mis à l’épreuve. Nous avons eu connaissance lors de nos activités sur le terrain qu’un certain nombre de femmes seules, enceintes ou avec enfant en bas âge, ont été « poussées » vers la porte de sortie par leur ami·es, hébergeure·s dès lors qu’elles avaient tous les symptômes, réels ou supposés, du Covid-19.

    Périple

    Le soin et la mise à l’abri des violences sont le salut de ces femmes. En période de pandémie, l’hôpital et ses soignants retrouve sa dimension d’« hospice » accueillant les plus démunis. Le système d’hébergement d’urgence sans cesse saturé voire inexistant dans certains départements, s’est retrouvé également en première ligne pour accueillir et soigner. Ces centres d’hébergement sont majoritairement collectifs et ne présentent pas de chambres adaptées au confinement avec leur sanitaire et cuisine propre. Dans leur périple, certaines femmes ont la chance d’être conduites vers les services d’urgence pour premier examen et réorienté vers les centres de desserrement dédiés au confinement des sans-abris atteints du Covid-19. On peut donc mesurer, sans trop de difficultés, les conséquences publiques, et pas seulement privées, de leur marginalisation (en réalité de leur invisibilité) juridiques et sanitaires. Ces femmes (car ce sont elles qui ont, dans les pires conditions, la charge quotidienne des enfants en bas âge), sont dans des logiques incessantes et infernales de survie au quotidien, comme celui, primordial, de se nourrir et de nourrir ses enfants, car biens des acteurs de la distribution alimentaire ont été contraint de limiter leur activité du fait de l’épidémie et du confinement de leurs bénévoles habituels, trop âgés pour s’exposer, provoquant ainsi des tensions dramatiques sur l’accès à la nourriture.

    Le cloisonnement des dispositifs du droit commun avec les réformes successives, ainsi que l’appauvrissement du système de santé, ont aujourd’hui de lourdes conséquences sur les conditions d’existences des plus fragiles.

    Pour remédier à ces manquements mortels (nous osons dire le mot) il est impératif que la puissance publique avec l’aide des acteurs sociaux se mobilise pour :

    – Davantage de place d’hôtel pour des confinements de qualité avec des stratégies de test PCR plus large pour ces publics surprécaires ;

    – Réduire significativement la pression sécuritaire sur les migrants et les campements, afin de favoriser le travail des associations et la coordination entre acteurs associatifs du soin-hébergement-sécurité alimentaire ;

    – Augmenter les dispositifs adaptés d’hébergement pour l’ensemble des mineurs placés par l’aide social à l’enfance et les mineurs non-accompagnés ;

    – Déployer davantage de places d’hébergement d’urgence pérennes pour les femmes victimes de violences sur le territoire et renforcer les dispositifs d’hébergement pour femmes seules notamment avec nourrissons et enfants ;

    – Accélérer les procédures de régularisations et de demande d’asile dans ce contexte de crise sanitaire ;

    – Accélérer la prise en compte des demandes de l’aide médicale d’Etat.

    Cette épidémie dépasse le strict enjeu du confinement. L’après-épidémie doit inclure dans les réflexions qui ne vont pas manquer de se poser sur le type d’organisation sociale que nous souhaitons dans tous les domaines de l’existence, ces populations qui étaient maintenues malgré elles hors du monde.

    https://www.liberation.fr/debats/2020/04/17/femmes-migrantes-encore-plus-fragiles-en-temps-d-epidemie_1785072
    #femmes #femmes_migrantes #fragilité #vulnérabilité #migrations #asile #réfugiés #coronavirus #covid-19 # Smaïn_Laacher

    @isskein & @karine4 —> #victimisation

  • Struggles of women on the move*

    –------

    Introduction

    When the crowd gathered for the Women’s Day demonstration on March 8, 2020 at 10am in front of Cinema Riff at Grand Socco in Tangier, Moroccan feminists, Sub-Saharan women for freedom of movement, single mothers, and a few Europeans came together. The women of our local Alarm Phone team, all from Sub-Saharan Africa, would sit together afterwards with some of their friends from Europe and start to write down their experiences for this report.


    At the same time, on the Greek island of Lesvos women from Alarm Phone teams interviewed women in and around the hot-spot of Moria, who spoke out about the suffering they had gone through on the most Eastern flight route towards Europe. They reported how on 30 January a crowd started moving from the overcrowded hot-spot Moria towards the city of Mytilene, which is still on Lesvos. „All women against Moria“, „Women in solidarity“, „Moria is a women’s hell“ and „Stop all violence against women“ was written on some of the many signs while the crowd chanted „Azadi“ (farsi: freedom) with raised fists.

    Shortly afterwards an Alarm Phone activist met with a young woman from Somalia, who had made the crossing from Libya to Italy last September and who wants to encourage the rescue groups to continue their amazing work.

    Another woman sat down and wrote a beautiful solidarity letter to one of the women active in Search and Rescue: “When I hear her voice on the phone, saying ‘my boat will head to the target with full speed,’ I picture her behind the wheel of this massive boat carrying 400 people, flying above the sea as if it was weightless.”

    There are some who write in a brave way about the suffering women had to go through: The pain they feel and the suffering that the simple fact of having to pee means for women in Moria. Or the struggles with the Boumla (Wolof for police) deporting them within Morocco towards the deserts, exposing them to greater dangers. Or the death of a young Moroccon student.

    There are others who decided not to remember the suffering in detail, but to point out their strategies, their struggles and the thankfulness about the solidarity created among us.

    In this report we tried to write about the manifold experiences of women and LGBTQII+, who cross the sea to reach a place of safety or who are stuck in transit, and about the experiences of women active in Search and Rescue who are trying to support these struggles. Women are on the move for their own freedom of movement in all three regions of the sea: in the East between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean, in the Central Mediterranean from Libya and Tunisia towards Italy and Malta, and in the West from Morocco towards Spain. Everywhere we meet more women in the frontlines of these struggles than we used to in the past. In the East, the percentage of adult men among those arriving even fell below 50 percent after 2015, which creates a completely different situation. While all of them face intersecting forms of visible and invisible violence making border crossing even more dangerous and lethal for women, we know that women on the move are more than what they are reduced to, and that they bear a power and a strength that no border is able to defeat.

    Also, more and more women are active in the Search and Rescue initiatives as well as in our Alarm Phone team. In the Alarm Phone we are even a majority. We decided to write in a very subjective way and what we ended up with is a patch-work of different stories in various styles and tones. We hope that this report empowers others to raise their voices as well and to become more visible with all their great expertise.

    We dedicate this report to all women and LGBTQI+ who are struggling for their survival in the refugee camps all around the world in times of the Coronavirus under life-threatening conditions. The only option to end this suffering is freedom of movement as a basic global right for all. We will continue this struggle.

    In March 2018, the Alarm Phone published the last report that was dedicated to the specific situation of women at sea.

    From now on, we will try to publish a report every year about the special situation of women and LGBTQI+ on the move.
    Daily struggles of women on the move in the Western Mediterranean. Alarm Phone activists report
    March 8, 2020 in Tangier

    The Women’s Day demonstration gather on March 8, 2020 at 10am in front of Cinema Riff at Grand Socco in Tangier. Moroccan feminists, Sub-Saharan women for freedom of movement, single mothers, and a few Europeans come together. A Samba group is drumming, there is a lively exchange between the different groups, purple-coloured cloths – the symbolic colour of March 8 – are handed out, banners are rolled out, contacts are exchanged – the atmosphere is great. About 800 women come together. This makes an impression in the northern Moroccan metropolis, because the voices are loud and determined with slogans like ‘Solidarité avec les femmes du monde entier!’ ‘Raise your voice, seize your rights’ in Arabic and French starts the demonstration and runs along the big boulevard to the Place de Nación. Passers-by and journalists follow with interest. One thing is already clear at this early hour: the march is empowering, and this in a place that has been marked by the worst police repression for several months.

    Julia and Pauline* participated during this march with the women’s group of Alarm Phone.

    Julia: “Sub-Saharan women are too tired, we suffer all kinds of violence, violence through the Moroccan security, through the Moroccan compatriot. Even Moroccan women have their difficulties. In their households, in their homes, in their surroundings. There are too many cases and there is evidence too. Women do not have a loud voice towards the men in uniform. They don’t open the doors and they don’t listen to us, we’re always there in moments of distress. That’s why we raised our angry shouts. I hope that our message is sent to the Moroccan authorities. We want peace and we have the right to live.”

    Pauline: “We women are brutalised in the house and we have no right to express ourselves. But we as women have to express ourselves, also in the media, so that the people through us understand what is really going on in the field. This is violence in everyday life. But we women want equality.
    March 8 was an opportunity to express ourselves. Because as we walked, there were many people who followed us. We fought, we sent messages. We gave ourselves the right to speak out and we said no to violence against women. We demanded our right to free expression and free movement!”

    Here Pauline’s speech, which unfortunately could not be presented on Women’s Day:

    Me, I am Pauline.

    I am an activist who is concerned about the rights of migrants in Morocco, especially in Tangier, but this struggle is not easy with the new policy of the Moroccan authorities, because we suffer repression by the police and deportation to southern cities and sometimes to the Algerian border. So, we as activists, we are calling for our rights and the rights of migrants.

    As Morocco has signed international conventions on the right of asylum and freedom of movement, the Moroccan authorities are asked to respect international law and not to be the gendarmes of the European Union. It is a bad policy to block migrants in Morocco, neither work nor residence permit, and to prevent migrants from their liberty in order to avoid illegal immigration. But Morocco must try to review its state policies and open the borders so that people can move freely. So that Sub-Saharan migrants can also go to earn a living in Europe as the Europeans can come here and earn their living in Africa. So we simply ask for freedom of movement for everyone and their well-being.

    Thank you very much.

    Stories of Struggles with the Boumla

    After the demonstration, we are together, the friends of the Alarm Phone: Pauline, Carla, Fatou, Co and Julia in Tangier. We tell and listen to each other’s stories about the Boumla (Wolof: police). As Alarm Phone has often reported, persecution, racism, violence and deportations are part of the daily life of black communities in Morocco, especially in the Tangier region. The women describe how they face discrimination on a daily basis and what strategies they have developed against repression.

    Fatou: We stopped the deportation in Rabat

    “Me and Pauline were with friends. We saw the police and we knew they’d take us even though we had papers.

    I said: ‘No, I’m not leaving, I have my passport and I have my residence permit.’ They slapped me and took me to the police station. They told us they’d take us to Tiznit. When we got to Rabat, we told ourselves we had to do something. If not, we’ll end up in Tiznit and it’s far from Tangier. So we revolted together to annoy them. We started to shout, shout with force. The Moroccans, they started to get irritated. And we shouted shouted shouted shouted… and they said “safi, safi safi safi safi” (Arabic: enough). We stopped and we got out in Rabat.”

    Pauline: I didn’t accept it

    “I wanted to talk about the violence I suffered as a woman in Morocco. The police came many times to catch me and take me south. I didn’t accept it, because I don’t know anyone there. At that time, I had my own restaurant in the Medina (Arabic: city). The police sent me to the police station. When I left there, I saw a lot of people and I told myself that if I didn’t do something, they would send me south, to Tiznit. I told the officer that I was sick. He said, ‘No, you’re not sick, you’re going to go out to the bus with the others.’ The bus was already there in front of the door. I was afraid of being deported to Tiznit, because I couldn’t afford to go back to Tangier.

    So, I went to the toilet. I had the second day of my period, so I took off the cotton. I threw it away and went out. There was a lot of blood coming out, it got on my pants, everything was spoiled. I said to the Chief of Police, ‘Look, I’m sick.’ But he said, ‘No, you’re not, get in line…’ That was when I opened my legs. He was surprised and said: ‘Okay, okay, okay.’ He gave me a ride home. So, I went back to work.”

    Julia: The hospital instead of the deportation to Tiznit

    “The last attempt to deport me was in 2019. The Moroccan police came to our house very early in the morning. They wore Kagouls outfits as if we were criminals in our own house. I had lost my residence permit, because I couldn’t renew it. They took us to Tiznit. We couldn’t resist. We were on the road from 8 in the morning until 11 in the evening, without food, water or anything. 2km before reaching to Marrakech I told myself that I had to find a possibility to go down there, because at least it was a city I knew. Just before I got there, I made a lot of noises and had a crisis, they got scared and called an ambulance to pick me up. I really wasn’t sick, I had nothing, it was just a trick so they could release me. So I made gestures, I stopped breathing. In the ambulance they gave me an oxygen mask. When I got to the hospital, they put me on a bench with a mask, by the time they went to find a doctor I took off everything and I ran away…”
    Aurore Boréale, based in Rabat: Only by fighting together can we can have real progress

    Since the dawn of time, human beings have been on the move, looking for green pastures, a milder sky, a better elsewhere or simply out of curiosity. That leads us to the conclusion, that the desire to see what’s on the other side has always been there, and, which leads us to conclude that migration is a phenomenon inherent to living beings. I would even say vital.

    The most shocking thing today is to see how migration has become demonised and criminalised everywhere. Leaving has become anathema, to the point where barriers are being erected everywhere. Means that are being used to hinder freedom of movement, are becoming more and more dramatic every day are being used to hinder freedom of movement, to sort out who is eligible or not. Let us take the case of Morocco: on the one hand, due to its geographical location it is considered the gateway to the Eldorado by many Africans, and also Syrians, Bangladeshis and Filipinos rush to Morocco hoping to live a better life on the other side of the Mediterranean, or perhaps simply to settle there.

    On the other hand, however, while non-dark-skinned migrant communities may enjoy more tranquillity and are not often subject to the most blatant forms of discrimination, the same does not hold true for the black African migrant community in Morocco. The case that interests our report is that of women.

    If yesterday it was rare to see women taking to the migration routes, today that is no longer the case and women migrate as much as men. Today, more women take the routes, swallowing the fear that arises, facing cold, hunger, danger, and closing their ears to not hear about all kinds of violence.

    Today the women are leaving too. But what about the daily life of these women once they have settled in Morocco? A country which, despite progress and openness in terms of women’s rights, remains a country where women do not enjoy practically any of the rights granted to them by law or the constitution. A country where women still remain the inferiors, the subordinates, or simply things belonging to men, to satisfy their impulses or their egos. Basically, I would say, a country where women are not truly free to be who they want to be.

    Migrant women in Morocco have to deal with all this, and additionally with the fact that they are black women. Thus, they are perceived in the collective consciousness of Moroccans as women of little value, of light morals, prostitutes, or beggars: The black woman at the bottom of the ladder that people with an atrophied mentality have decided to create. For some of the migrant brothers or for some chairman’s prey single migrant women’s bodies are there to be exploited when promising them the journey to the Eldorado.

    And they are left to their fate as soon as these men have found more attractive prey. Thus, many women find themselves single mothers, with children whose fathers don’t give a damn, or don’t even want to know. Because of the hard reality, some women find themselves in a relationship and move in with the first one who could offer her a roof over her head, food on her plate, in order to reach the basic comforts. Sometimes it turns out well, sometimes it turns out very problematic. Migrant women who work in private homes are also subject to exploitation, even physical abuse, non-payment of wages that are insignificant compared to the work they do. We can also talk about the difficulty to be respected in public health centres, complications, late care or lack of care on discriminatory and racist grounds. They remain on the margins.

    What I find most appalling is that even in some militant associations, where women are under-represented, they are given less responsibility and no real decision-making power. They are infantilised, or just given a place to serve as a showcase to obtain grants from organisations that take the status of women seriously. Once the grant is awarded, these women are side-lined, without any decision-making power, bullied and subjected to everything that men have decided without them having a say.

    There are organisations, such as UNHCR., Caritas, and CEI (Comité d’Entraide Internationale), which provide assistance to migrant women. But here again, there is the eternal question of eligibility, the unhealthy hierarchy of suffering, the categorisation of migrants. They are classified according to their suffering, according to how they arrived in Morocco, and the migrant who arrives by plane is often not entitled to this little help: “You can’t help everyone”, unless you have a story that holds up, a lie that is worth telling, or if you pretend to be someone you are not.

    I have seen people who really needed help but were not given it, because they did not meet the criteria for it. I know people who died as a result. And even when help is given to these women, it is not free. In one way or another, they remain like prisoners of the organisations, spied upon even on their most intimate affairs. That is the price that has to be paid.

    There are a few women’s associations such as La voix des femmes de Hélène Yalta, the Collective of Migrant Women in Morocco (COFMIMA) and ARCOM, which try as best they can to fight for the status of migrant women in Morocco. But a real struggle for the rights of migrant women, for women’s empowerment, is almost non-existent. The urgency, the need, the survival cries out too loud… It is in dispersed groups, individually that the great majority of women fight. Can we hope for real progress or evolution by fighting in dispersed groups? No, not at all.

    With your courage you can do this work
    Interview with Leonie

    Although the situation in Tangier is becoming more and more difficult for Sub-Saharan travellers, a group of women has been formed, who are active with the Alarm Phone there. We spoke with Leonie, who is new to the group. She has been living in Morocco for 5 years.

    Leonie, why do you take part in the Alarm Phone?

    L: It was a good brother who introduced me to the group. He told me that there is a network of activists, and he said: “I see that you with your courage, you can do this work.”

    Have you already worked here in Morocco in solidarity activities?

    L: I am in almost all the associations in Tangier that bring together migrants. When there is a meeting or a small activity, they invite me. I am almost always present.

    Alarm Phone is a network of activists who help migrants who are already on the water, so that they don’t lose their lives in the water. In case of distress we guide them.

    Can you explain the situation of migrants here in Morocco?

    L: In Morocco it is not easy for migrants. Whether you are regularised or not. It’s very tense. Life is no sugar for us. I myself have suffered the consequences. They’ re breaking your door down. At two o’clock in the morning the soldiers are here, they don’t warn you, they don’t ask if you have papers or not. To your surprise you jump out of your sleep and they break your door down.

    They come home like thieves. They don’t even try to find out if you have papers. You are supposed to say, ‘But sir, I have papers’.

    Once they arrived at my house, I was washing myself around 3am, last summer, so in 2019. The man opened the bathroom and I said, ‘But sir, I’m showering.’ He said: ‘That’s not my problem.’ I said: ‘When you came in, did you ask me if I’m legal or not? You come in my house, but I have my house contract, I have my papers. You want to come in the shower? If you put your head in the bathroom again, I’ll throw the water on you!’ And that’s how he left the toilet.

    It hurts, it’s frustrating. Every year like this, they treat us like animals as if we’re not human. Really, it’s disgusting.

    And as women you don’t have the right to speak up, especially in front of the authorities, they don’t consider you. It hurts you, it stays in your heart. And morally, you don’t have the right to express yourself! That’s the suffering of women here. We’re trying to talk to human rights and women’s rights associations.

    In the work of Alarm Phone – What are the demands?

    L: Alarm Phone demands that borders are open. If someone wants to go out of a country that the person passes freely without being caught and without being violated. This is the demand of Alarm Phone: Freedom of movement!
    Hayat, killed at the border by the Moroccan Navy in September 2017

    In order to prevent the young people from setting out at all, armed force is used in Morocco: On September 25th 2017, the Navy shot and

    killed 19-year-old student Hayat Belkacem from Tétouan. Three men were injured, some of them seriously.

    The four of them, along with 21 other young Moroccans*, had set off from Martil Beach in a “Go-Fast” (speedboat) in the direction of Spain. The Navy wanted to stop the travellers; when the boat started, they opened fire. The hashtag 126102877 #Quiadonnélordre: Who gave the order? went viral afterwards and contradicted the version of the Navy, which allegedly only fired warning shots.

    For days, before Hayat’s death, hundreds of young people had been flocking to the beaches in the north after Spanish videos of successful arrivals in Spain were posted on the Internet. Moroccan security forces had blocked the young Moroccans* from accessing the beaches of northern Morocco. In response, hundreds of young Moroccans* demonstrated in Martil and demanded ‘l’harga fabor’ – their right to free passage: https://youtu.be/ICahwzMzbdM

    After the death of Hayat, people in many cities, including many Ultras, took their anger to the streets. In Tétouan, the people chanted ‘We will avenge you, Hayat!’ as well as ‘We will renounce the Moroccan passport!’ and ‘Viva España’: https://youtu.be/EyXfV-fMoBg

    A student was subsequently sentenced to two years in prison, claiming that his call for protest via Facebook had allegedly insulted the nation of Morocco and called for an uprising. Other young people have also been accused, many of whom are still minors.
    Central Mediterranean: Women on the move
    The invisible struggles

    It is difficult to write about women who cross the Central Mediterranean. It is difficult because, in first place, we don’t want to write ‘about’ women on the move. We would love to write ‘with’ them about their experiences, to use this platform to make their voices heard. However, their stories are often kept invisible, as is the violence they experience on a daily basis. Too often, women crossing the Central Mediterranean route just appear to us as a number communicated by the person who speaks on the phone. A number that we try to clarify several times, to then quickly report it into an email to the authorities or into a tweet: “We were called by a boat in distress, on board there are 60 people fleeing from Libya including 3 children and 8 women, two of them are pregnant”. We rarely hear their voices. Communication with people in distress in the Central Mediterranean is brief and fragmented: it starts with a distress call through a satellite phone, it ends with a satellite phone being thrown into the water. And then silence. A silence that can mean many things, but that too often does not carry good news. This communication through an unstable connection does not allow us to get in touch again, to ask for details, to ask for their names and testimonies once they make it to Europe or when they are returned to violence and war in Libya. And this is how, painfully, the powerful voices of women on the move get lost, and their presence remains fixed in a dry and uncertain number.

    Of course, we often know what is beneath those numbers, and here we could write stories of violence, slavery and torture in Libya. We also know that many women are fleeing not only war or poverty, but also gendered-based violence, forced marriages, harassment due to their sexuality. We could write about their pregnancies, and about the rapes behind them. We could write about what it means to be a mother and to embark on a precarious rubber dinghy holding your child’s hand in the hope that the sea will be less violent than the Libyan camp or the homes they left behind.

    The borders of Europe amplify the violence women flee from, but security measures, surveillance and criminalisation of people’s movement are often legitimised under the flag of combatting human trafficking. With one hand Europe pretends to give protection: it portrays border controls as humanitarian acts to protect ‘vulnerable women’ from ‘bloodthirsty’ traffickers. With the other hand Europe pours money and resources into creating stronger borders, organises trainings and signs deals and agreements to limit freedom of movement, thus fuelling border violence.

    Depicted as vulnerable victims in need of protection, discourses of women’s protection and vulnerability are often used by European member states to put a humanitarian face to the violence they inflict through their border policies.

    While all these intersecting forms of visible and invisible violence make border crossing even more dangerous and lethal for women, we know that women on the move are more than what they are reduced to, and that they bear a power and a strength that no border is able to defeat. This is what we would love to write about, and this is what we learn from the testimonies and experiences collected here.
    Women on the phone

    In a few situations, we talked to women in distress who called the Alarm Phone, and since then, when the communication is difficult, we ask the people on the phone to let us talk to a woman on board.

    As Alarm Phone, we talk to people during their journey. For us they are voices in distress that we try to comfort, with difficulty. We ask for their GPS coordinates and they try to read us numbers. It’s hard to be on the phone with people who could drown any moment and to ask them to read numbers. They just want to tell you that the sea is too big and the boat is too small. They want to tell you that they don’t want to go back to Libya, that they’d rather die at sea. They ask us to help. They tell us that they’re sick, that they won’t make it, that there’s water in the boat, lots of water, too much water. They ask why we haven’t arrived yet, and why we keep asking for numbers. And how do you explain that you’re not at sea, but in England, or France, or Germany? How to explain that you called for help but that European authorities aren’t answering your requests, and are letting them die at sea? How do you explain that the only thing we can do is to write down these numbers, and that because of these numbers their lives might be rescued?

    More than once, a chaotic situation where communication seemed impossible and where we feel that we will never be able to clarify the GPS coordinates of the boat, was solved by simply talking to a woman, as it was reported by a shift team: “they passed the phone to a woman, she speaks clearly, she is calm. She listens carefully and she understands how to find the GPS coordinates on the phone. She spells out the numbers: ‘North, 34 degrees, 22 minutes…’ She is confident and she explains the situation. She said that there are sick people on the boat and that there is little fuel left. We keep regular contact, she knows what she has to do and how to continue.”

    It is in these volatile moments, in these few exchanges and in the courage that we hear in their voices, that the invisible struggles of women on the move in the Central Mediterranean become visible. Their voices become weapons against the brutal border regimes, a weapon, on which the lives of 100 fellow travellers depend. We wish we could hear more of these voices, and that we could talk to them and hear their voices beyond distress situations, as we did with Daniella and Abeni, who are still in Tunisia, or as we did with Kobra, who managed to reach Germany.

    Trapped by the UNHCR
    Speaking to Daniella, Tunisia

    Daniella comes from the English-speaking part of Cameroon. The war has been escalating since 2016. Her husband has been murdered and she also lost her mother in that war. She belongs to a politically marked family as part of the opposition. She left the country in October 2017. Since she left, she didn’t hear from the rest of her family.

    She crossed Nigeria, Niger, Algeria and Libya before crossing the border to Tunisia. She was arrested at Ben Guerdane, where her fingerprints were collected. She was in facilities of the Red Crescent and the UNHCR in Medenine, and then taken to the Ibn Khaldun centre in August 2018. She was registered with UNHCR and underwent 4 interviews, in which she was asked the same questions, trying to ‘trap her’ on dates. Her request was denied. She was told she could very well go back to the English-speaking part of Cameroon: “But if you go to this area as a francophone, you are in danger because people will think you’re a spy.”

    During her stay at the centre, Daniella often organised sports activities such as football games, which did not please the UNHCR. She was also very active, taking part in the various demonstrations organised by the refugees and asylum seekers of the centre to protest against their living conditions and to denounce the practices of the UNHCR.

    Since UNHCR rejected her asylum application, she no longer receives food coupons. She decided to leave the centre after being pressured by UNHCR to make room for others. “It’s their strategy, they embarrass you to make you go away”. Today she lives in a small apartment with two other people. She says she doesn’t have the courage to appeal UNHCR’s decision. It has been 11 months since she left the centre.

    The crossing from Tunisia costs about 1000 Euros. She intends to attempt the crossing. Their group of 14 people is ready. The smuggler asked them to wait until the weather improves, saying it’s only a matter of a couple of days. It’s already been two weeks that they’re waiting for the weather to get better to cross the border. A month ago, migrants have been intercepted. They are not imprisoned unless they are found to be smugglers.

    She also crossed the ditch; it is about three metres deep. There was no water at the bottom, but there was mud. To climb, some men helped her, braiding clothes to hoist her up. The desert is full of aggressive dogs. She had to walk for a long time with her baby and a friend from the Ivory Coast before she came across the military. The military knew their number, they had to identify their group well in advance (they asked where the men were, looking for a group of 18 people). The soldiers were equipped with huge searchlights sweeping across the desert. After you cross the ditch, there’s a barbed-wire fence three meters high. Crossing this border costs about 300 Euros.
    Intercepted to Tunisia
    Interview with Abeni, Tunsia

    Abeni left Nigeria in 2017. She lived in a southern province. Her husband’s father was killed and her husband was threatened, so the family had to flee the country.

    She arrived in Tunisia in May 2017 while she was 6 months pregnant with her first child. Her boat ran out of petrol and was rescued by the Tunisian authorities and handed over to IOM. They were taken to Medenine by bus to an IOM shelter that shut down in March 2019. She remained in this centre for one year and asked to see UNHCR, but for one year she was only offered the voluntary return. It wasn’t until a year later that she was able to go to a UNHCR centre.

    She went to Zarzis with her husband for the UNHCR interview. Her husband, who only speaks Ikâ, was given a translation by phone. A few months later they received a negative response from UNHCR, telling them that the events that they had raised could not be verified on the net, and that it was a family problem.

    She says that few Nigeriens are accepted, with the exception of single women with children (one of whom has been relocated). They appealed against this decision by filling out a form, without an interview, but were again given a rejection. The UNHCR gave them three days to leave the centre, along with her two daughters, aged two years and six months. This happened one year ago. They refused, were able to stay but they no longer have food coupons and no more help from the UNHCR.

    When she talks to the staff, they pretend to ignore her. UNHCR has not renewed their cards. They have stopped paying for medical expenses, while the baby has to go to hospital regularly. The Doctor said it was because he was suffering from the cold. Her husband tries to work but there are no opportunities in Medenine. He went to Sfax but he got himself arrested and imprisoned for two days for not having papers. Without documents, they have no freedom of movement. The second baby wasn’t registered in Tunisia. UNHCR refused to accompany them.

    Her husband wants to go back to Libya to attempt the crossing, but she doesn’t want to and stayed in Tunisia. The UNHCR still wants to kick the family out of the shelter but can’t do it due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
    We felt welcome
    Kobra’s testimony, rescued by the Ocean Viking in September 2019

    My name is Kobra. I am 18 years old and I come from Somalia. I want to tell you the story of my rescue in the Mediterranean Sea on September 2019. I don’t know how to find the words to describe the suffering I went through, and I don’t want to remember what happened before I left Libya. I also never want to forget the moment, after nearly two days at sea, when we finally saw a small sailing-boat on the horizon that ended our suffering.

    We were full of fear, because finally our phone, our only connection to the world, had stopped functioning and water was rapidly entering the boat. It was a miracle when we finally found this sail-boat. We were about 45-50 people in a blue rubber boat, and seven of us onboard were coming from Somalia. One pregnant woman was traveling with her 1-year-old child and her husband. She is now doing well because she was transferred to Germany after the rescue.

    I never learned how to swim, so the idea of the boat flooding was a possible death sentence to me.

    I have a video a friend took on the boat and you can see the expressions of relief and happiness in everyone’s faces when we spotted the sailboat. There are no words to describe how you feel when you realize that your journey across the sea is over. It was a German sailboat, which was too small to take us on board. They came to us and asked us, if we could speak English. They then told us that they would call for the OCEAN VIKING a big rescue ship to come and take us on board. They gave us jackets and life-vests, because the weather was getting rougher and colder.

    Later, when it was dark, it started raining and the waves got bigger. The small German boat took us to OCEAN VIKING which took us aboard. There were already other people with them who had been rescued earlier that day. Even the rescuers seemed so happy that we were all safe. They had doctors on board and they gave us medical treatment, since my pregnant friend and I had had vomited a lot. I had a heavy allergic reaction on my skin as well because the sea irritated my skin condition after being exposed to the salt for so long.

    On the OCEAN VIKING we found another pregnant woman, whom I think was from Nigeria. She was brought by a helicopter to Malta because she was very close to delivering her baby. The crew later made an announcement to tell us when the baby was born in Malta.

    We were on the OCEAN VIKING for one week because no country wanted to take us in. This time was difficult, but it was much better than what we experienced before. The crew was always with us and they tried to support us however they could. We had enough food. We had a doctor whenever we felt sick. They even gave us clothing. We felt welcome.

    Finally, Lampedusa decided to take us in. When we finally left the boat after such a long time at sea it was not as warm of a welcome. We received food only after being forced to give our fingerprints and we were brought to a dirty place with barbed wire. I could not stay in Italy; the conditions were so poor. Today I struggle to live in Germany with the fear of my fingerprints on record and that I will be deported back to Italy.

    I will never forget the good people on these ships, who welcomed me before I arrived in Europe. They will stay in my memory. Maybe, one day I will meet them again. Until then I want to encourage them to continue what they are doing and I send them all my greetings.

    SAR Solidarity
    Letter from an Alarm Phone activist to an amazing woman of the SAR world in January 2020

    The past 5 days were crazy, my dear friend. We never met, but I have read the stories that you wrote on board of the rescue ship. Nine boats in distress fleeing from Libya called the Alarm Phone, and for the first time in a long time, all the boats that called Alarm Phone from the Central Mediterranean where rescued to Europe, more than 650 people in 5 days. This was not just about luck. It was about the incredible efforts of the people out there doing everything they could to rescue these boats, despite European authorities’ efforts to let them sink without trace. These were efforts mostly by women. Wonderful, fierce, kind, fearless women like you. In the past, I have mostly have dealt with men at sea and it was difficult. These 5 days were joyful instead.

    L., she crossed the Mediterranean up and down 3 times in 72 hours without ever sleeping, just following the GPS coordinates that we had received from the people in distress, which we also forwarded to the authorities and to the rescue ships. After sending an email, I would call the bridge. Again and again, for 72 hours. I would call the bridge telling her, “L.! There is a boat in distress again you need to be quick”. I never heard moment of discomfort in her voice. Even under that pressure, she was trying to create little cracks of softness, of love, of solidarity, of laughter. When I hear her voice on the phone, saying “my boat will head to the target with full speed”, I picture her behind the wheel of this massive boat carrying 400 people, flying above the sea as if it was weightless. I cannot find the words to describe the love and respect I feel towards her when I read her emails to the authorities, defying their orders, placing herself and ‘her boat’ against the orders given by some Colonel of the Armed Forced of Malta, or of some Commander of the Libyan Navy. I think there are no words in this world to express the magnitude of certain actions.

    On the phone, we tell the people in distress that they have to stay strong and keep calm, that they have to trust us, that they cannot give up. We tell them “rescue is coming for you my friend, don’t worry”. When you’re out at sea, lost in the darkness.

    Then Luisa and ‘her boat’ arrive, to the rescue, after hours of darkness and uncertainty. After hours when they thought they had been abandoned by everyone, and that they had been forgotten in a sea that is too big, on a boat that is too small. After so many hours of exhaustion, there is certain magic in the moment when we can tell them “make light, with a telephone, don’t use flames – make yourself visible.” There is magic in the few words spoken by voices broken by panic and excitement “we see a boat, it’s red”, and in an email of few words from the rescue ship we read “we see an intermittent light coming from the sea, we believe it is the rubber boat”. I imagine this little light shining above a sea that is a cold, dark, liquid cemetery. A sign of life, of resistance, of struggle. Not just of despair.

    Then silence. One second you are head and body in the Mediterranean, the next you are in silence and you realise that hours have passed. From this side of the phone we do not know what happens in this silence. It’s a feeling that makes you feel completely detached from reality.

    Waking up reading the stories you write about these rescues, my dear friend, I always cry. Reading your descriptions of the rescue, reading the stories of the people who were on board, it makes it all real, it fills the void of these silences.

    Reading your stories makes me think of all the witches of the sea like you, like L., like the women of Alarm Phone and the women crossing the Mediterranean, who relentlessly struggle together in this hostile sea. The Morganas of the sea, the few little lights in this darkness, sparks that are reflected by the waves, as magic as fairies and as fierce as witches.

    I cannot stop being inspired by all these women, who cannot be stopped, contained, tamed. So yes, it is hard work also for all of us, and many people think we are crazy for doing this work, but we know that we are not the crazy ones, and that we are part of a brigade of amazing witches who believe that the real craziness is looking away. Thank you.
    From the crossing of the Aegean Sea to the struggle for women rights. Women on Lesvos
    All women against Moria

    Most women have already endured hardship even before they get into a boat to cross the Mediterranean Sea. But the journey is far from being over once they reach the shore. Many of them find themselves in overcrowded refugee camps, such as Moria on the Greek island of Lesvos, where the authorities are overwhelmed with numbers and unable or unwilling to provide the most basic needs such as clean water, electricity, shelter, medical care and security. It is a harsh environment where the strongest rules and violence is part of everyday life which leads to an existence dictated by constant fear. In this rough environment, solidarity is a vital tool for survival, especially among women.

    On January 30th 2020, approximately 450 women and children gathered in Mytilene, the capital of Lesvos, to protest the horrific living conditions in the camp and the dramatic increase of violence– including several fatal stabbings that had taken place within the previous weeks. The protest was organized by a group of about 15 Afghan women, and their goal was to draw attention to the dire situation. It was both a cry of despair as well as a powerful and loud manifestation of female solidarity when women of all ages and different nationalities took to the streets and blocked the traffic for several hours.

    “All women against Moria“, “Women in solidarity“, “Moria is a women’s hell“ and “Stop all violence against women“ was written on some of the many signs. The crowd chanted “Assadi“ (farsi: freedom) with raised fists. Several women said that it was the first time they had participated in a demonstration, but they showed great confidence during negotiations with the police or when giving media interviews. An elderly Afghan woman explained that she had focussed on caring for her family all her life but the hellish situation in Moria had given her no choice but to join the demonstration.

    Many women kept their faces hidden behind hijabs, voluminous scarves, and surgical face masks to conceal their identity. In the past, well placed rumours had been circulating that political involvement and contact with the press would lead to immediate deportation and repression by the Greek authorities. Taking this into account, 450 protesters is an astonishing number. Even more so considering the difficulties a trip from Moria to the islands capital, Mytilene, includes. For example, people have to cue for several hours to be able to get into one of the few busses. It has been reported that bus drivers had to push people away with sticks to be able to close the door. If you did make it onto the bus, you would miss your meals for that day as you weren’t able to stand in the food line. We also heard reports that a larger number of women were prevented from leaving the camp to join the demonstration by the authorities and police forces.

    No flyers, no Facebook group, no official announcement. News of the women-only-protest was spread by word of mouth. The success of the demonstration was a surprise to many, especially the police, who initially showed up with only 10 riot-cops. After the protest, 9 female volunteers were taken to the police station, where their identity cards were checked. Their sneaking suspicion is that they were the ones organising the women’s protest. The officials seemed to be unable to grasp the idea that women from Moria could organise efficiently. The women’s role in the camps traditionally has been to calm the male-dominated unrests rather than taking part in them or even initiating them. But times are desperate and increasingly women are discovering their political voice. They are finding strength in female cooperation. There had been an all-women sit-in last October after the tragic death of a woman in a gas explosion in the camp. Assemblies, empowerment workshops, networking and practical support are less visible and yet essential aspects of the politicisation of women.

    Experiences of crossings and life in Moria

    Again this year, with the increase in the number of people arriving on the island and the non-reaction of the Greek and European authorities, the conditions in Moria have only gotten worse and worse. When you talk with the women living there, their daily life comprises of fear, no rest, long lines, attacks, power cuts… but also solidarity amongst each other, survival strategies and the struggle to be able to decide about their own lives. There are the stories of three women, F, N, and J.

    F left Iran: “Unfortunately, in Iran members of my family did not have identity cards. We couldn’t go to school. We just had to work. My older sister and I worked as tailors in a basement. I started working when I was 12 years old. I have a passion for education. Finally, this year my sister and I decided on leaving in search of something better. Finally, my parents accepted. So, we started our travels. During our journey we tolerated several difficulties. Upon arrival to Lesvos, we slept two nights on the streets because we had to wait until Monday for when the offices of Moria opened. Finally, we could get a tent.”

    N and J arrived on the island of Lesvos by boat last December crossing over from Turkey. Both are living in Moria today. For J “each person has their own way to experience and to bear the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea”. She had to pay 450 USD to the person who organised the crossing and was told: ‘In 4 days we will come to pick you up at 23 o’clock at the hostel.’

    She tells us her story: “…they put us in a covered pick-up truck, we were a lot and really squeezed together. Four hours later we arrived in a very dark place. They put us in an abandoned house without any water or food all day long until 7 pm. Then we walked 5 hours up and down in the Turkish hills. Finally, we arrived on the shoreline. They inflated the dinghy in front of us. We left close to midnight. 1.5 hours later the Turkish coastguards stopped us on the sea and they brought us back to Turkey. We were 29 people on board. When they released us we went back to Izmir. I didn’t have any strength anymore. The smugglers told me ‘you have to leave.’ Two days later we tried again. Same group, same way. Five hours of walking again. And again, we couldn’t reach Greece. The big boats came close to our rubber boat to make big waves and they were yelling at us to leave and go back to Turkey. This time we spent one week in the police station. The third time, we arrived in Greek waters and called the Greek Coastguard, that came to pick us up. But we had to throw away our personal belongings because the boat was filling up with water. There was complete disorder on board, no organisation. After we had called them for the first time, we still waited three hours until they came to pick us up.”

    N spoke about how “the fear comes when you’re at sea. You didn’t know who your neighbour was, but you held their hand. We started to pray. On the open sea the water was coming inside the boat. Each one was calling for God in his own way. I didn’t want to go on the boat, but they pushed me. The kids were in the middle. Me as well. I closed my eyes. We landed without any police, only fishermen. It was raining. I was wet and we had to wait 15 minutes more for the bus. What gave us our hope back, was this woman, who gave us chips and sent her kids to say hello to us. They let us on the bus and we sat there until the morning without giving us anything”

    J described her situation after being registered in Moria: “I didn’t have any tent in which to sleep. I slept from tent to tent. They kick you out of the tent when you cough too much. The few that we had, they would steal it. I was scared to be stabbed, mainly during the night and someone would do it just to take your phone. The worst is that the authorities don’t let us leave the island.”

    https://alarmphone.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2020/04/aegean2-1-768x1024.jpeg

    Your whole life is waiting in line

    For the refugees, lines are running a big part of their daily and social lives. As N and I were talking over some tea, N had to leave us to go stand in line for food. Very often they have to miss a workshop, a class, a commitment, or a friends-gathering to go stand in line for a basic necessity. Sometimes it gets so late that people have to return to their tents in Moria, even if they did not receive what they had been standing in line for all day. And the day is done. J told us that: “In the morning, when you wake up, the first thing that you have to do is line-up. We line-up for every basic need. We pee in buckets since the toilets are too far away and we have to wait in line to use them. It’s infernal to wait and the belly burns. During the night especially, the toilets are too far to reach. And the toilets are dirty, so you easily get itchy. The Moria medical tent usually gives paracetamol to calm the itchiness down… To take a shower is the same. You wait in the cold, and sometimes when you arrive the shower is clogged”. N added: “You have to stand in line, but you know that someone can come and stab you for your phone while you wait. It has happened a few times since I have been here, and people have died just waiting. I am scared when I have to go stand in line. One time, they didn’t clean the floor and we had to line up standing on the blood of a guy who was stabbed. I was so scared, it was horrible.”

    F also described the situation in a letter: “When you get up you must stand in a line for breakfast, lunch, diner, toilet, shower: for everything! You wait about 2.5 hours in each line. Your whole life is waiting in a line. We have only two places for doctor’s visits, which is not enough for thousands of people. Again, you have to wait in a line. Only the people that go at 4 o’clock in the morning have the opportunity to be checked. If you have a cold, standing in a line outside is bad for your health. You will get worse. If you have a headache, cold, flu or pain in your back or leg… it doesn’t matter. Doctors just give you painkillers and tell you to drink water.”

    Z, is an underaged Afghan girl, who lives in the jungle of Moria with her family. She wrote the following in a letter: “There is a toilet but at night it’s so hard to go to the toilet because we have to cross a small bridge and we can’t’ see anything because there is no light. I am under 18 and they don’t give me food because my mother is not here and when my father got sick, I was given the task to wait in line for food for the family but they didn’t give it to me because I am a minor. Life here is so hard: washing clothes, caring for my little sister, my brother and father. It’s so hard for me. I miss my mum.”

    Living in Moria is like living in jail. You are constantly living in fear. “Inactivity makes people go crazy. You will pass 6 months here without realising it”. You have nothing to do, nothing that you can do to be a part of civil society. The lines are dehumanising. People become a ticket, a plate, a bottle of milk, a croissant or a bag of clothes,” J explained.
    Self-organisation and a daily life strategy

    For N solidarity is important: “We also have to accept each other and the situation. I cannot eat too late, but when the electricity comes back at 2 am, I cannot prevent the others to talk, to eat and to cook. So, I put my earphones on and cover my eyes. In any case, I don’t sleep well. I refuse to take the medication that they give me to sleep, because we know that boys spend the nights in the alleys. With the canvas walls of the tents, you can feel the people passing by close to you and your head, and I want to be awake in case something happens. To eat warm and cooked food, we have to prepare the food before the electricity comes on. The last time, my tent’s mates put the potatoes in the pan and everything was ready, but they had only 10 minutes of electricity. So they had to wait, but when the power came back the food was not good anymore. As they were hungry, they added some milk. I don’t know how they ate it.”

    N continues: “In my tent we are 7 people plus a little girl. We sleep on the floor and each one puts their stuff around their sleeping place. We keep the middle of the tent open to cook and sit, and eat together. It is important to show solidarity, so I said to the women that we have to protect each other and when one of us has to go stand in line early in the morning, some of us go with her until daylight comes. Also, the women in my tent dance and sing, do braids, and find time to do what they want, and that’s strengthening for me.”

    J talked about solidarity concerning food: “The food in Moria is disgusting and gives you diarrhoea, meaning you then have to go stand in line for the toilets. Can you imagine! We collect money, around one euro per person, and we give it to the person, who cooks for the day. Every day it is a new person.”

    When women cross the sea, and even before then along the journey, they often have different experiences than men and are exposed to greater danger. Being on the move is a difficult situation, but being on the move and being a woman puts you in an even more vulnerable position. Specific issues related to gender discrimination and racism are being reported by the women on Lesbos that we were talking to:

    The women that we talked to speak about racism against black people within the hotspot, but also in the city. For example, a woman told us that in one supermarket, whenever a black person enters, a guard will follow that person around. She also told us that black women are often offered money in the street for sexual services. Prostitution is undoubtedly happening a lot, there lacks public information or data about this invisible side of this kind of unbearable situation on the island. It is clear, however, that human traffickers take advantage of the overcrowded and unsafe situation in Moria and that people are doing business with women and kids. And since the administration is overwhelmed, people can wait up to three months to be registered and to be able to benefit from the “cash programme for refugees”. Three months without any money.

    As we are writing this report, and just a few weeks before the international women’s day, there are five women locked-up in different police stations on Lesbos. They were arrested after trying to leave the island without proper papers. They have been arrested as part of a pilot project to see if this idea for a new law can be implemented: The new law indicates that a person who has been arrested must stay detained until the end of the asylum application. This would mean that all asylum seekers, who can be arrested for any illegitimate reason, would have to wait in detention.

    Having daily contact with women living in Moria, you can see how solidarity starts with their everyday basic needs and continues with the provision of psychosocial human support in an effort to protect each other’s security, rights, and sanity in the face of the dire situations they face every day.
    LGBTQI+ people on the move

    We don’t want to overlook women’s experiences of discrimination and the needs of different vulnerable groups, but considering this report is about gender-based discrimination and violence, the situation of LGBTQI+ people on the move has to also be mentioned.

    This report uses the acronym LGBTQI +: it is used to refer to people who identify as lesbian (L), gay (G), bisexual (B), trans (T), intersex (I), queer (Q) and + for all the different expressions and intimate relation with (no)gender identity and sexual definition: non-binary, asexual, aromantic, etc.

    Those who are LGBTQI+ face an even more difficult reality because they cannot always count on the national solidarity networks. And even when these resources are mobilized, it is often at the cost of important precautions so as not to be identified as LGBTQI+. Housing in camps and collectives of LGBTQI + people with other non-LGBTQI+ in asylum accommodations can cause anxieties regarding being mis-identified or ‘outed’ unwillingly (for their sexual orientation or gender identities). This is especially the case for trans people in accommodation facilities who find themselves living in single-sex housing that does not correspond to their gender identity. Because most of the time the authorities mis-gender trans persons, using the sex that is written on their official papers. Later on, when it comes to the asylum request, LGBTQI+ people fear that information about their sexual orientation or gender identity might start to circulate within the communities. This produces a lot of hesitations concerning what to say in front of the court, causing sorrow and fear because a large part of the LGBTQI+ people particularly pay attention not to reveal the reasons for their presence in Europe.

    From the perspective of Alarm Phone, writing about LGBTQI+ people on the move during the situations they encounter while the crossing on sea is difficult, because of course people also try and hide their identity in situations of close confinement, because it is a risk of discrimination and violence is very high. We can hardly provide a general analysis about people on the move because there is only partial knowledge available. Statistics are often binary and queer people are not mentioned.
    Lesvos LGBTQI+ refugee solidarity

    This is taken from a text that was published by members of the group in 2019

    As another deadly winter sets in, Moria prison camp on Lesvos is over its capacity by the thousands and growing fuller every day. In these conditions, LGBTQI+ refugees are particularly at risk of exposure, violence, and death.

    With homosexuality still illegal in 72 countries, it is obvious why many LGBTQI+ people became refugees. Many of us fled from home because we had to hide our gender identities. When we arrive on Lesvos, expecting safety, we are shocked to find the same issues continue for us here. Homophobic harassment and violent attacks are frequent and severe: by fellow residents as well as by the police and camp guards.

    We know some LGBTQI+ people that have been beaten and even hospitalised from homophobic and transphobic attacks. All have had to repress their identity, living cheek by jowl among communities which replicate the persecution they fled in the first place.

    “When I was in the boat, a beautiful cry came. We’re starting a new life. We were just throwing all our troubles into the sea. I wasn’t scared. I just read the Qur‘an and cried. I sat in the boat, my hand was in the sea along the way.”

    “I left Morocco because for 30 years I was insulted, persecuted and beaten by the community, the police and my family, but on Lesvos I found the same thing.”

    “In the early days in Moria, I was systematically raped. I‘ve seen the most difficult conditions, but I‘ve never seen such a horrible place.”

    “These people are looking at you like you’re rubbish. Like you smell. On the street, on the bus. I don’t know how to explain this. Even when you are on the street, you feel ashamed, like there is shit on you.”

    “If we can’t dress up the way we want, if we can’t do our make-up, why come to Europe?“

    “And together we will change the world, so that people will never have to come out again!”

    We did not flee our homes only to continue to hide and live in fear. We won’t be silenced. We won’t be ignored. We will shout it from the rooftops: we are gay, we are lesbian, we are women, we are men. We are here. We are all migrants. We want our freedom we won’t wait ‘till it‘s given to us. We ask those that hear us to fight alongside us, wherever you are.

    Queer solidarity smashes borders!

    https://alarmphone.org/en/2020/04/08/struggles-of-women-on-the-move
    #femmes #résistance #migrations #réfugiés #asile #lutte #luttes #femmes_migrantes #Tanger #Maroc #solidarité #Rabat #invisibilité #Tunisie #Méditerranée_centrale #Ocean_Viking #Mer_Egée #Moria #Lesbos #Grèce #attente #LGBT #genre

    ping @karine4 @isskein @_kg_

  • Pourquoi les #travailleuses_du_sexe chinoises à #Paris se sont-elles mobilisées ?

    Lassées des contrôles de #police, des Chinoises migrantes se prostituant à Paris décident, en 2013, de se faire entendre et s’allier à d’autres travailleuses du sexe. Soutenues par Médecins du Monde, qui mène auprès d’elles un programme de prévention santé depuis 2004 avec le #Lotus_Bus, elles rencontrent policiers et élus et se font connaître du #Strass, le #syndicat du Travail Sexuel.
    Hélène Le Bail, politologue spécialiste des migrations chinoises, a suivi cette mobilisation. Elle revient sur ce qui a déclenché le mouvement, la façon dont il a été perçu et sur ce qu’il a représenté pour ces femmes chinoises qui ne s’étaient jamais mobilisées auparavant.

    http://icmigrations.fr/2019/10/15/defacto-012-02
    #mobilisation #lutte #femmes #femmes_migrantes #France #migrantes_chinoises #Chine #femmes_chinoises

  • L’#histoire méconnue des étrangères en grève à #Marseille dans l’entre-deux-guerres

    Précaires parmi les précaires, les #ouvrières étrangères de l’entre-deux-guerres en France ont pris plusieurs fois le risque de se mettre en #grève pour dénoncer leurs #conditions_de_travail. Italiennes, Arméniennes ou Grecques, leurs luttes ont été oubliées.

    http://icmigrations.fr/2019/10/15/defacto-012-01
    #histoire #femmes #migrations #France #précarité #ouvrières_étrangères #intersectionnalité #femmes_migrantes #invisibilisation #invisibilité #historicisation

  • La migration par le travail n’est pas toujours une expérience émancipatrice pour les femmes

    Le #déclassement professionnel est souvent au rendez-vous en migration. Il est particulièrement marqué pour les #femmes_chinoises formées sous le régime communiste qui sont arrivées à #Paris à la fin des années 1990. Elles se retrouvent assignées à des activités qui leur seraient « naturellement » destinées en tant que femmes et surtout femmes chinoises.


    http://icmigrations.fr/2019/10/15/defacto-012-03
    #migrations #émancipation #femmes #travail #France #femmes_migrantes

  • Le numéro 1, un très beau numéro de la revue
    #Nunatak , Revue d’histoires, cultures et #luttes des #montagnes...

    Sommaire :

    Une sensation d’étouffement/Aux frontières de l’Iran et de l’Irak/Pâturages et Uniformes/La Banda Baudissard/
    À ceux qui ne sont responsables de rien/Des plantes dans l’illégalité/Conga no va !/Mundatur culpa labore

    La revue est disponible en pdf en ligne (https://revuenunatak.noblogs.org/numeros), voici l’adresse URL pour télécharger le numéro 1 :
    https://revuenunatak.noblogs.org/files/2017/03/Nunatak1HiverPrintemps2017.pdf

    Je mettrai ci-dessous des mots-clés et citations des articles...

  • Les #violences_de_genre à l’épreuve du droit

    ❝Quand la critique féministe renouvelle le droit. Présentation du dossier
    Marta Roca i Escoda, Pauline Delage et Natacha Chetcuti-Osorovitz

    Légiférer sur les « violences de genre » tout en préservant l’ordre patriarcal. L’exemple du #Nicaragua (1990-2017)
    Delphine Lacombe

    Les violences au sein du couple au prisme de la #justice_familiale.
    Invention et mise en œuvre de l’ordonnance de protection
    Solenne Jouanneau, Anna Matteoli

    Les politiques de lutte contre les violences de genre en #Belgique et les #femmes_migrantes : entre volonté de #protection et #contrôle_migratoire
    Isabelle Carles

    Déqualifier les #viols : une enquête sur les mains courantes de la #police_judiciaire
    Océane Pérona

    Sous condition « d’émancipation active » : le droit d’asile des prostituées nigérianes victimes de #traite des êtres humains
    Prune de Montvalon
    #traite_d'êtres_humains #prostitution #Nigeria #migrations

    https://ds.hypotheses.org/3483
    #genre #violence #droit #revue

  • Les femmes migrantes plus exposées aux violences

    Un rapport de l’association France Terre d’asile rendu public mercredi 2 mai met en lumière les violences subies par les femmes migrantes une fois arrivées en France. Ces dernières sont confrontées à des #viols, #agressions, #exploitations, #préjugés

    http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/9090/les-femmes-migrantes-plus-exposees-aux-violences?ref=tw_i
    #femmes_migrantes #femmes #violence #France #migrations #asile #réfugiés #rapport

    Lien vers le rapport :


    http://www.france-terre-asile.org/images/pdf/synthese-etude-vida-francais.pdf

  • Women working worldwide: A situational analysis of women migrant workers

    This report is produced by UN Women’s Economic Empowerment Section for the “Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ Labour and Human Rights” Project, supported by the European Union. This report is the first of three designed to build on the growing body of scholarship pertaining to gender and migration, and is a resource for the creation of gender-sensitive policies and practices aimed at empowering women migrant workers.

    This report draws from the cases of Moldova, Philippines and Mexico to provide a comprehensive analysis that accounts for differences and similarities between migration systems. Specifically, through the use of legal reviews and legislative comparison, the report provides an analysis of existing mechanisms, frameworks, legislation and policies vis-à-vis women migrant workers, with particular attention paid to the alignment of national legislation with international frameworks, like CEDAW.

    Finally, the report concludes by providing a set of recommendations aimed at global and regional actors, including the ratification of international treaties, enforcement of CEDAW and the creation of a new international instrument to promote and protect the rights of women migrant workers.

    http://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2017/2/women-working-worldwide#view
    #femmes #travail #femmes_migrantes #migrations #genre #rapport

  • The African immigrants in the public space of Athens

    Athens only quite recently, since the late 1980s, has become a immigrant-receiving city. Inthis context Africans have a considerable visibility in the center of Athenian Metropolis. Since their first years in the destination city - Athens, they tried to belong and bond with thearea that was “pointed out for them” as a neighborhood, in order to feel as comfortable aspossible in a new, unfriendly environment.The paper will demonstrate the degree and the characteristics of the relationship between African women and public spaces (squares and parks), public transportation, political andsocial events as ‘spaces’ of interaction and belonging. For nine months (February 2010 –October 2010) the neighborhood where most of the African community is concentrated in Athens has been studied. We were collecting evidence pertaining to the use of the public spaces and public transportation means by African immigrants. At the same time a group of African women activists were interviewed regarding their believes, customs, culture andtheir relationship with the Athenian public spaces. All these methods provided a detailedview of the public everyday life of African women in the Metropolis in certain public spaces in Athens. In particular, the paper after demonstrating the Athenian reality regarding the placing of immigrants in certain ’strategic’ central areas, presents quantitative and qualitative data for the African community in Athens and especially its female members. Also, particular familiarized areas in the metropolis are presented through the use of analytic mapping as well as with respect to their use by immigrants as interaction and recreational space. Special emphasis is placed on the commercial activities (as quasi-public spaces) that take place in and around these more ’formal’ public spaces. In addition, through participant observation of the African women’s organization in Athens, another quasi-public space, the paper willdeal with the political mobilization, official and undocumented, of the African communityand especially of African women.

    http://www.academia.edu/2896352/The_African_immigrants_in_the_public_space_of_Athens

    #Athènes #Grèce #immigrants #espace_public #cartographie #femmes #géographie_urbaine #femmes_migrantes