Monday, December 22, 2014

Working Papers on Intervention published

Right in time for a little early christmas present we have nearly all of our working papers on intervention polished and published.

The first versions were written for the discussions during the big porto meeting. After the working seminar all the authors reworked and polished their papers and now we have most of them online (two are missing for technical reasons but will be added as soon as we can). All of them will also be accessible via the CEINAV Website at London MET.

We have written a background paper to decribe our method read the papers here:
 --> Background paper <--

Read the working papers:

Working Paper on Intervention Against Child Abuse and Neglect in Germany
Working Paper on Intervention Against Child Abuse and Neglect in Portugal
Working Paper on Intervention Against Child Abuse and Neglect in Slovenia
Working Paper on Intervention Against Child Abuse and Neglect in UK
Working Paper on Intervention Against Domestic Violence in Germany
Working Paper on Intervention Against Domestic Violence in Portugal
Working Paper on Intervention Against Domestic Violence in Slovenia
Working Paper on Intervention Against Domestic Violence in UK
Working Paper on Intervention Against Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Germany
Working Paper on Intervention Against Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Portugal
Working Paper on Intervention Against Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Slovenia
Working Paper on Intervention Against Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in UK


Thursday, November 27, 2014

New high court decision will help to prosecute traffickers in Germany

On October 8 2014 our associate partner KOK co-hosted (with Terre des femmes and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung) a major conference “Focus on Women’s Rights” in Berlin, where the consequences for Germany of EU law against trafficking and of the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe were discussed. There, Carol Hagemann-White learnt of a recent high court decision that will enable prosecutors as well as lawyers representing trafficked women to obtain convictions more easily.

Prosecuting traffickers in Germany has been difficult, not only because victims may not be willing or able to testify, but also because “coercion” and “exploitation” are often hard to prove. On July 16, 2014 the federal high court of Germany issued a decision (rejecting an appeal by a convicted trafficker in the case of three Nigerian women) that the key criterion of coercion is sufficiently proven by the fact that the women had been in a precarious economic situation in their home country. This is a decision with far reaching implications! The court ruled that the ensuing restriction of the women’s freedom of action and decision had the concrete effect of reducing their ability to resist attacks on their sexual self-determination. It is thus not necessary to prove any further circumstances beyond the predominating negative social conditions in the home country. Furthermore, it is irrelevant whether or not the victims had already decided to work as prostitutes in Germany before being trafficked to this country, or whether the coercive pressures used by the accused after they were brought to Germany (such as the demand that they work to pay off a debt) led to their final compliance. If you are interested in the original document you can find a pdf here.

From the original German text of the court ruling (Bundesgerichtshof  5 StR 154/14):

 

Der Senat entnimmt den Feststellungen, dass das Merkmal der „Zwangslage“ schon bei der „Rekrutierung“ der drei Nebenklägerinnen in Nigeria erfüllt war. Alle Nebenklägerinnen befanden sich in ihrem Heimatland in prekären wirtschaftlichen Verhältnissen (vgl. auch UA S. 46). Die damit verbundene Einschränkung ihrer Entscheidungs- und Handlungsmöglichkeiten war – was genügt – konkret geeignet, ihren Widerstand gegen Angriffe auf die sexuelle Selbstbestimmung herabzusetzen (vgl. zu § 180b StGB aF BGH, Beschluss vom 25. Februar 1997 – 4 StR 40/97, BGHSt 42, 399, 400 f.; Eisele in Schönke/Schröder, StGB, 29. Aufl., § 232 Rn. 10 mwN; siehe auch BT-Drucks. 12/2046 S. 4). Es ist dementsprechend nicht erforderlich, dass zu den im Heimatland der Opfer herrschenden schlechten sozialen Verhältnissen in Bezug auf das jeweilige Opfer noch weitere erschwerende Umstände hinzu-kommen (aM wohl Fischer, StGB, 61. Aufl., § 232 Rn. 9). Damit kann letztlich offenbleiben, ob die Opfer – durch die Angeklagte veranlasst – bereits vor ihrer Einschleusung beschlossen hatten, in Deutschland die Prostitution aufzunehmen, oder ob dieser Entschluss erst durch die Maßnahmen der Angeklagten in Deutschland (unter anderem Forderung, Beträge von über 50.000 € „abzuarbeiten“, Hinweis auf den „Voodoo-Eid“; vgl. dazu UA S. 45 f.) endgültig bewirkt

Monday, November 17, 2014

DIJuF statement regarding future handling of minor refugees

The increase of unaccompanied minor refugees over last years and months caused a critical situations. The communities in which most of the children and juveniles arrive lack care facilities as well as qualified personnel. Therefore Bavaria tabled a bill in the Federal Assembly which takes a distinct regulatory approach of distributing the young persons by quotas throughout Germany.

Aspects of the children’s best interest are not taken into account yet. The Länder Bavaria, Berlin, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westfalia held a hearing in Berlin on 14 Nov. 2014. The DIJuF participated and promoted the children’s rights. For more information see http://www.dijuf.de/fachliche-hinweisestellungnahmen-des-dijuf.html.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hearing in celebration of 25yrs CRC

The Children Commission (Kinderkommission) of the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) invited to a hearing in celebration of 25 years CRC on 12 November 2014. The Members of Parliament posed 20 questions concerning the status of the implementation of children’s rights in Germany. Hearing and participation of the child, complaint procedures and issues related to children in families from a minority group or with a migration background are core topics. As one of the four experts, Dr. Thomas Meysen will be able to refer to the first findings from CEINAV on cultural encounters in interventions against child abuse and neglect.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Porto Seminar Video

While we had the 5 day working Seminar in Porto we videorecorded some of our discussions. We would like to share some highlights and interesting thoughts with you to give you a little insight into our work:

video


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Working Seminar in Porto - A major milestone


CEINAV Porto 5 Days Seminar, 28th Sept—4th Oct 2014

From September 28 to October 4, researchers of the Project CEINAV met in FPCEUP, University of Porto, to share preliminary findings of the 1st stream of the research.

Based on a total of 24 workshops with professionals, the five partners wrote working papers on the intervention patterns and approaches to the different forms of violence in each country. These papers will be revised after the discussions in Porto and then made public online.

With an intense and productive work, the team reviewed similarities and specificities among the four countries concerning intervention in domestic violence, child physical abuse and neglect, and trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation. The debates focused sequences of intervention in different countries, the interpretative frames of the legal and professional practices, and cultural premises that configure the relationship between professionals and survivors in each country.

Public Presentation of CEINAV - October 1, 2014

Within the Porto Research Meeting, a Public Presentation of CEINAV was held in FPCEUP, with - Prof. Maria José Magalhães, national coordinator of CEINAV, researcher in FPCEUP
- Prof. Doutora Liz Kelly, coordinator of research team in UK, researcher in London Metropolitan University
- Prof.  António Magalhães, vice-president of Scientific Board of FPCEUP
- Prof. Fátima Machado, vice-rectoress of University of Porto
- Prof. Emeritus Carol Hagemann-White, Project Leader CEINAV, and researcher in Department of Educational and Cultural Studies, University of Osnabruck, Germany
- Prof. Vlasta Jalusic, coordinator of the Slovenian team and researcher in Peace Institut de Ljubliana Eslovénia
- Thomas Meysen, coordinator of the research team of Heidelberg, researcher in German Institute for Youth and Human Sciences

from left to right in the picture:

Meeting with Associate Partners, October 1 and 2, 2014

The 5 Days Seminar included a Meeting with the Associate partners, held on the 1st and 2nd of October, with representatives from Black Association of Women Step Out Ltd. (BAWSO), Cardiff, Wales; IMKAAN, London, England; Association for Non Violent Communication, Ljubljana; Society KLJUC – Centre for fight against trafficking in human beings, Ljubljana; Association against sexual abuse, Ljubljana Slovenia; IGFH - Internationale Gesellschaft für erzieherische Hilfen (Federation of Educative Communities), Germany; Federation of Women’s Counselling Centres and Hotlines (bff), Germany; Associação Projeto Criar – Association against child abuse, from Porto, Portugal, and UMAR-Association of Women, Alternative and Answer, from Portugal.

In the meeting, researchers and representatives of the APs debated the preliminary results of the first stream of the research, especially with regard to ethical issues that could be explored further, and their implications for next streams, in the pathway to understand the cultural premises in intervention.

Future directions of fruitful cooperation were built having in mind the artistic process that will go parallel with the next streams of the CEINAV research.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Research progressing on time


This week CEINAV is completing almost all of 24 workshops with practitioners in the four countries, a major step forward in the empirical work of our project! Only two workshops had to be re-scheduled for early September. Central aim of the workshops was to explore how decisions are made in difficult situations, and to look at the dilemmas that arise in practice, when conflicting rights, needs or mandates appear. The workshops were very successful, and the participants were enthusiastic about the opportunity to reflect in more depth and in dialogue with other professions on how they deal with the challenges of addressing violence.
The workshops were designed to follow a common structure in all four countries and across the three areas of violence, with open-ended focal-group methodology then allowing the diversity arising from the country context and the differences between frameworks of intervention for domestic violence, trafficking, and child protection to come to the fore.
Through meetings and conversations with the associate partners and among the five research teams, we defined a list of the main areas of practice for each of the three forms of violence, identifying which professionals could have experience in recognizing situations of violence and initiating intervention. Participants were sought who would not work together on a daily basis, often coming from different towns or districts. 

Detailed guidelines for the agreed procedure were written, suggesting key ethical dilemmas that may lie beneath the surface of discussions. Drawing on the expertise of cooperating practitioners as well as on research knowledge, a basic narrative for a paradigmatic case study was developed. It begins before intervention when the signs and signals for possible violence are not yet clear for any professional, and then continues in two stages of probable contact with agencies and indications of more serious harm. In the interest of comparability, six core questions were also formulated that were asked in the same way in all workshops. In the course of two half-day sessions, there was plenty of time to pursue issues and differences important to the participants.

The agreed set of core questions and the agreed narrative arc in all the stories comprising three sequences provided the scaffolding upon which we could hang the tapestry of our diversity. The next step in our work will be to analyse the workshops “two by two”, in order to write a working paper on the shape and patterns of intervention and its dilemmas for each form of violence within the context of each country. These 12 papers will be the material for a working seminar with all partners and all associate partners in the fall.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Iterview with Manuel Albano, rapporteur for Human Trafficking in Portugal

For the CEINAV project the portuguese team conducted an interview with Manuel Albano, rapporteur for human trafficking in Portugal.

The following is an extract from the interview, read the full Interview here.

CEINAV: Dr. Manuel Albano, can you identify the diverse tendencies that concern Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation?

MA: There are tendencies - note that these are not European tendencies, but mostly national tendencies -  that try to push this issue away from the area of equality, because they consider that this is a criminal problematic, not a gender equality issue. This is against the Palermo Protocol, which clearly states that the focus must be given to equality issues, to gender issues. That means that trafficking must be viewed and worked on from a gender perspective.

Therefore, it’s important to realize that the problematic and the gender view for this doesn’t have anything to do with any theorization. It has to do, objectively, with the main target affected, which are still women. The number of men and children trafficked has also increased, due to trafficking for labour exploitation purposes, such as mendacity. When we work with victims, female and male, we understand that the dynamics are completely different. In other words, a man, when he’s found in this situation, mostly wants to quickly return to his home place. He’s not very concerned with the support that may exist here, what he wants is to go out, to be free, to return back home. A woman has completely different characteristics: she appeals for a more specific support, a more continuous and differentiated help on this level.

The 1st National Plan against Human Trafficking came out from the experience of the Project CAIM. We presented the first draft. We also managed to have the discernment to call someone from the outside, Dr. Fernanda Rodrigues, the project consultant. There were hours and hours, days and days of discussion, in order to achieve something, so we could have the guideline we now have, to establish all those dynamics. This was a process down to top. That’s why people, a lot of them, identified themselves with all the created instruments, because they built them. It wasn’t a process that someone imposed, no, people identified with it. I’d say that, in Portugal, this project is striking and makes a difference in this area, fully; I have no doubt about it.

An example of that was the documentary sponsored by CIG, at the end of last year: it was something that made people think and reflect about this. People talked about these issues in day-by-day situations.

Monday, May 5, 2014

CEINAV on the ENGV conference and meeting the president


Four members of the CEINAV team attended the European Network on Gender and Violence Conference in Malta April 21st-23rd, attended by 100 people.  The network provides a supportive and expert space for established and new scholars to present their work. We discussed papers from many perspectives and national contexts and Liz Kelly from CEINAV gave one of the keynotes on approaches to prevention, drawing on a conceptual framework from a previous EU project some of the partners had worked on together.  This framework suggests prevention efforts need to be more strongly theorised, targeting specific pathways that connect the structural, normative and biographical.  After the meeting Carol Hagemann White, the Director of our HERA project met the recently appointed president of Malta who has a personal interest in our topic.

Liz Kelly

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Data" is the hot topic around violence against women these days


On March 6, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency presented their EU-wide prevalence survey to an audience of an estimated 400 in Brussels, very many of whom represented governments, NGOs, international organisations. I was astonished how many speakers in this well-informed public declared themselves “shocked” by the findings, since the new prevalence figures are not very different from what national surveys have uncovered. Or were they hoping to shock their governments into finally taking the problem seriously?

 Just two weeks later, the European Institute for Gender Equality invited some 50 experts from across the EU to discuss the results of their study on the availability of administrative data on violence against women. Unsurprisingly, since institutions and regulations differ quite a lot among member states, not much of the data is comparable across countries, and of course administrative files only capture violence that is reported to the police, social services, or (much less often) the health care system. As the FRA study showed, less than a third of all victimized women reported even the most serious incident to the police or to some other agency or organization. (A third talked to someone they know, a third had told no-one about it.). 

 What do we need the data for?

 
The interesting thing would be data that told us what statutory agencies DO about the cases they do hear of, for example, what percentage of cases recorded by the police ever goes to court?
In its “victims rights“ Directive (October 2012), the EU – to my great satisfaction – finally defined a victim as someone who has suffered harm irrespective of whether a perpetrator has been identified, charged or convicted, or of whether she makes a criminal complaint. Finally EU policy steps out of the narrow box in which the right to support and protection depends on criminal proceedings. 

But only one step. The Commission takes care to ask member states to train the providers of specialist support services to encourage and facilitate reporting to the police. Services, it seems, are expected to teach victims to trust the police and the criminal justice system. Indeed, we would all like to live in a world like that, and in many countries, the police are making impressive efforts to be worthy of victims’ trust. But it is the mandate of support services, would it even be ethical of them, to try and convince reluctant women to denounce their husbands or partners to the police? 

In how many states can a rape crisis center honestly assure women that they have nothing to fear from being witness in a rape trial? About a year ago, when a prominent rape case was being dragged through the German media, a former national prosecutor declared, in a talk show, that if his daughter were raped, he would strongly advise her not to go to the police, because the defense would inevitably attack her credibility and her character. Yes, when a woman has decided that she wants redress, wants to see her tormenter prosecuted, support her by all means – but encourage?

Do more data make better policy?


But back to data. There seems to be a notion floating around that the modern state ought to be informed about every case or incident of abuse or hurt. Every victim of violence in close relationships, it is said, ought to be “assessed” to decide if she needs special protection measures. (Why is no-one talking about the perpetrator? Surely it is the person posing a danger who needs to be assessed.). In the same Directive, member states are asked to provide administrative data regularly, systematically, and in comparable frameworks. It’s not easy to see what this has to do with victims’ rights.

Do more data make better policy? How, exactly, does that work? Awareness-raising is likely to increase the proportion of incidents that are reported, poor agency responses are likely to decrease that proportion, but the numbers won’t tell us whether awareness has risen or whether the agency responses have improved or deteriorated. 

I’m finding the “hype” about data, and more data questionable, especially since the data are all being collected from the victims, and that is, we might remind ourselves, a very intrusive process. If my handbag is stolen on the train, of course I go to the police (if only because I need the file number to get all those plastic cards we live with replaced), and their questions center on the perpetrator. I don’t have to answer questions about whether I am feeling depressed or whether I am pregnant. 

Seems to me that any institution that wishes to collect data on people who have done nothing wrong, just had the bad luck to be victimized, should be required to justify specifically why the data are needed. A general claim that data collection is “an essential component of effective policy-making” is too little. Numbers don’t make policy.

Carol Hagemann-White