Progetti di ricerca

MWM - Migrant Women at the Margin:addressing vulnerabilities in intersectionality between violence and explotation

Ambito disciplinare Macroarea 3

Area scientifica Area 16 - Scienze politiche e sociali

Tipologia finanziamento FONDAZIONE CASSA DI RISPARMIO DI PADOVA E ROVIGO (Finanziamenti da Fondazioni Casse di Risparmio)

Tipo di progetto Internazionale

Stato progetto Concluso (archiviato)

Ruolo nel progetto Capofila

Data avvio: 1 January 2019

Data termine: 31 December 2019

Durata: 12 mesi

Importo: 26.060€


University of Wroclaw, Institute of International Studies, tel. +39 0498273734
fax +39 0498274007, Prof. Magdalena Ratajczak and Dott. Katarzyna Jedrzejczyk-Kuliniak


Human Rights Centre “Antonio Papisca”, University of Padua, Via Martiri della libertà 2, Padua,, tel. +39 0498271817 – 1813, fax +39 0498271816, Prof. Marco Mascia, Prof. Paolo De Stefani, Dr. Pietro De Perini (also for SPGI)


The fundamental assumption of the project is that gender-based violence (GBV) perpetrated by males against women, women’s vulnerability, and women’s exploitation are inextricably linked phenomena. On the one hand, GBV is one of the root causes of women’s vulnerability in that it directly contributes to it and explains some of its specific features; on the other hand, male violence is a crucial mechanism through which women’s vulnerability and subjugation are maintained, reproduced and reinforced. Both male perpetrators of violence against women and exploiters use power control to dominate their victims and use “tactics” that are largely equivalent.
Recent observations on the evolution of trafficking and other severe forms of exploitation at national and EU level, including, for example, research conducted on Nigerian young women and girls who apply for international protection, show that family members and other male people in intimate relationship with the concerned women play a crucial role in forcing them to migrate and expose themselves to extremely harmful situations. The reason why young women leave their countries and enter or are driven into exploitation circuits is often because they are mandated to economically support their male partner or male components of their families. Indeed, violence by the intimate partner or other multiple forms of family violence against women are very often at the origin of situations of exploitation, and not simply a by-product of them. For women involved in such dynamics the outcome can be prostitution (irrespective of the policies of toleration or repression adopted at the national levels), or a variety of different forms of severe abuse where gender plays a prominent role.


The research aims at providing an evidence-based description and classification of the violence, discrimination and exploitation practices affecting migrant women accessing EU Countries, namely Italy and Poland, testing GBV affecting them at any stage of their journey as a key determinant of their subjugation and victimization, and as a crucial dimension of any reception strategies, training programmes for social operators, cultural and awareness-raising programmes, especially with young people in receiving countries.
Accordingly, objectives are articulated into 2 streams:
1. To increase available data and knowledge on the research topics, and namely:
- to collect data and information on GBV as pushing factor in migration dynamics, with a focus on the role of the family and domestic violence, including traditional practices affecting women;
- to collect and analyse primary and secondary data concerning the topic in a selection of countries of origin and in Italy and Poland as countries of destination;
- to study from multiple perspectives (legal, socio-economic, psychologic, etc.) the predicament of women and girls victim of GBV and involved in situations of exploitation and trafficking, including when seeking international protection.
2. To analyse public policies and field practices in treating victims of trafficking and exploitation, and to develop training and educational schemes to address the root causes of such phenomena and prevent GBV, namely:
- to share with expert personnel information and best practices, also in order to develop suitable training models;
- to develop a consolidated reflection on the potentiality of the human rights discourse in relation to migrant women and intersectionality;
- to stimulate among young people (university students) in the concerned countries (Poland and Italy) an adequate and sensible approach to GBV as a determinant of potential or actual situations of severe exploitation, and build the capacity to frame facts of discrimination, exploitation, marginalization;
- to analyze the critical areas of multi-agency social work with vulnerable groups, with a consistent human rights approach.

Piano delle attività:

The project foresees multiple actions, meant to be interrelated and mutually reinforcing.
1. organization in Italy of a one-day expert meeting aimed at analysing and understanding the needs of women victims of severe exploitation, GBV, and at supporting dialogue and building bridges between civil society organization working on preventing GBV and the anti-trafficking networks.
2. The organization of a one-week workshop with students of the Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Multi-level Governance at the University of Padova on the project’s topics, led by a visiting expert from the partner institutions (Wroclaw University). The workshop is hosted in the class in Women’s Human Rights, held by the Project.
Leading Researcher Paola Degani, in the framework of the said Master’s degree at the Department of Political Science, Law and International Studies.
3. The organization of a two-day seminar conducted by 2 researchers from the University of Padova on topics related to the research programme in the University of Wroclaw, with participation of local authorities, professionals and students, besides the Wroclaw research team.
4. The organization of one international conference on HR and GBV, trafficking in human beings and severe forms of exploitation of migrant women in Europe. The international conference is held in Padova, in cooperation with the University of Wroclaw. The meeting is focused on the role of human/women’s rights in connection with contemporary mixed migration flows. The human rights political discourse will be stressed as a means to improve the qualitative analysis of violence and exploitation targeting migrant women.
5. All along the programme, to draft research papers and to draft research papers and elaborate, a model protocol on referral/assistance suitable for the anti-violence and anti-trafficking agencies in Poland and Italy.