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Sexual assault and the European migrant trail–migrant women at high risk

Amnesty International has released a report on the plight of women and girls on the migrant trail from Turkey into Europe and the results are grave.  Migrant women are at high risk of sexual violence, financial exploitation and harassment while other refugees, smugglers and security staff such as European police are all to blame.

“Although a press release by the organization includes several references to flaws in Germany, it stressed that the situation was particularly worrisome in transit zones, including “Hungary, Croatia and Greece, where (female refugees) were forced to sleep alongside hundreds of refugee men. … A dozen of the women interviewed said that they had been touched, stroked or leered at in European transit camps.”

One refugee said she never felt safe in any of the camps. “In the camps we are so prone to being touched, and women can’t really complain and they don’t want to cause issues to disrupt their trip,” she was quoted as saying.”

One consistent fear shared by these women was of using the unisex bathrooms they share with male migrants.

 Talking to Amnesty International, a pregnant 19-year-old named Rania said her time in Hungary was a shocking experience: “It was full of cages and there wasn’t any air coming in. We were locked up. We stayed there for two days. We received two meals a day,” she said. “The toilets were worse than in the other camps, I feel like they mean to keep the toilets like that to make us suffer.”

About Rebecca Lawrence

Rebecca Lawrence is a freelancer in Brooklyn, NY. She is owned by two blind cats. Tweet at her @rebeccalawrence

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