On 4-5 December, the women’s organisation MONIKA hosted in Helsinki an expert meeting dedicated to the issue of violence against migrant women. The working group of the EWL Observatory dedicated to migrant women met up with the working group of the European Network of Migrant Women dedicated to violence in order to join their efforts in identifying key concerns for migrant women subjected to male violence.

The two-day meeting was a great opportunity to exchange on good practices, especially on MONIKA structure, gathering a women’s house (proposing activities and hosting multicultural women’s organisations), a resource centre for women offering easy access services, support and peer activities, and the refuge for immigrant women Mona Home.

Participants identified 3 top barriers in fighting violence against migrant women: the lack of knowledge amongst migrant women that violence is a criminal offence; the lack of easy access services that would help migrant women to counter the language barrier or their fear of going to the official authorities like the police; the insufficiency of funding for NGOs working to support migrant women and to fight violence against women.

The meeting allowed for the two structures, the EWL European Observatory and the European Network of Migrant Women, to come closer with common challenges and find solutions to help eradicating violence against migrant women. The participants also enjoyed meeting with women representatives of the different multicultural NGOs hosted in Monika building.