JES – Women survivors of trafficking and the state of services in Palermo

Monday 27 May 2024

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What is the current state of services to support migrant women that survived trafficking? How to help them get out of situations of exploitation or violence? What are the systemic obstacles that hinder change?

These are the main questions that have marked the research phase of the JeS. The aim of the project is to promote awareness of human rights in higher education through confrontation with real life stories. We chose to focus on the theme of female trafficking, and therefore to collect stories of women survivors who are now settled in Palermo. Choosing stories representative of the reality in Palermo is a step that requires care, as well as deep knowledge of the phenomena at stake. To get a clearer picture, we had a conversation an expert from within CESIE, involved in numerous project regarding the social and labour inclusion of migrant women.

Immediately apparent from her words is the need to accompany women on a path to economic independence. The ideal would be to offer integrated and long-term support in which psychologists, language teachers and employment counsellors work together with the women. In a city where entering the labour market is itself difficult, offering continuity of support services is crucial.

The second major problem is the difficulty in reaching the survivors. This is partly due to the type of communication used by organisations, to which many remain impervious. One solution could be to create safe spaces for migrant women, in which they can gather and have fun, places creating community that make them feel less alone and that would ensure a greater circulation of support possibilities.

A broader consideration of change necessary includes involving entrepreneurs, businesses and, more generally, people from the various migrant communities to stimulate labour inclusion and intercultural dialogue.

Our conversation ends with a reflection on the work of organisations in the third sector, the need to create synergies and the right partnerships. There is a lot of work to be done, but there is also a lot of energy and drive, providing hope and strength to who is working with survivors.

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About the project

JeS – Joint eStories: Journeys from Fear to Fair is a project funded by Erasmus+ KA220-HED – Cooperation partnerships in higher education.


For further information

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Contact Paula Goltzsche:

The EU-CARES vernissage: urban conflict in analog photography

The EU-CARES vernissage: urban conflict in analog photography

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