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BRIDGE: More than 1400 care professionals and 1600 children and youth learned to tackle gender-based violence in the context of migration

2021-04-15

Studies point to alarming accounts of gender-based violence (GBV) affecting refugee and migrant children and young people in the European Union. Through the EU-funded BRIDGE project, Terre des hommes (Tdh) and its partners strengthened the response to this issue in EU countries and empowered children and youth to better protect themselves.

Several challenges, such as lack of data and professionals’ limited knowledge and coordination, as well as the low awareness amongst migrant children and young people make GBV difficult to tackle. Working directly with care professionals as well as children and youth through a diverse set of activities, the project improved the protection of children and young people on the move in Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Romania and other EU countries.

Innovative data collection tools

To address the issue of lack of data, we developed a mobile data collection methodology and tool and deployed it to assess professionals’ knowledge to recognise GBV and respond to it, the level of understanding of GBV amongst children and youth on the move, and their awareness of available protection services. The collected data was presented in the form of reports (Belgium, Romania, Malta, Greece) and infographics in Belgium and Malta. Our findings and recommendations were widely disseminated among professionals and decision-makers and used to design the project’s activities such as training programme for care professionals and awareness raising campaigns.

Improving the capacities of care professionals

More than 1400 care professionals across Europe benefited from our capacity building activities both offline and online. They learned how to identify and address GBV among children and youth in the context of migration and how to help them to prevent it and access protection services. Through sharing of knowledge and experience in a variety of formats, the project promoted multi-agency collaboration and learning on GBV. “I really enjoyed meeting people that share a similar world view. The more projects like this, the more we can make a difference,” mentioned a care professional.

Any interested professional can enhance their knowledge on GBV through our freely available resources:

  • Online course on GBV featured on the ChildHub Academy (available in English, French, Dutch, Greek and Romanian)
  • Training Manual for Care Professionals (available in English, French, Dutch, Greek and Romanian)
  • Youth Facilitator Training Manual for the programme aiming to increase awareness and understanding of GBV amongst children and youth on the move
  • Series of 8 webinars on GBV hosted through ChildHub, dealing with numerous issues related to GBV and presented by experts (IFRC, IOM, GAMS, UNICEF) – recordings are available on the main BRIDGE page.
  • Thematic page and thematic packages on GBV (includes a wealth of multi-lingual articles, brochures, leaflets, guides for child protection professionals, policy briefs, infographics and infosheets).

Raising the awareness of children and youth

Using participatory methods, we organised activities with more than 1600 children and youth and empowered them to build positive relationships and increase their awareness and understanding of GBV. Children and youth themselves led the development of materials and campaigns that aimed to further inform and raise the awareness of their peers about GBV. They created posters, videos, a brochure, leaflet, newspaper, face masks, bookmarks, t-shirt paintings, murals, games, a theatre play, a dance video, a song and more are available on the main BRIDGE page. These were disseminated through social media, offline events and an online exhibition, reaching tends of thousands of children and youth across Europe.

Watch a video to see migrant and Romanian children in Bucharest painting messages against gender-based violence:

BRIDGE (Building Relationships through Innovative Development of GBV Awareness in Europe) was a multi-country project led by Tdh Regional Hub in Hungary and implemented from October 2018 to December 2020 in Belgium (in partnership with Defence for Children International Belgium and Federal Agency for Reception of Asylum Seekers), Greece (ARSIS), Malta (Kopin), and Romania (Terre des hommes Romania). The project was funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).

For any questions or further information, please contact: Nenad Matejic, Regional Project Manager, nenad.matejic@tdh.ch