Inside the Nord-Pas-de-Calais refugee camps: the hardships of many women

02'10" 23/02/2016
This web page is currently not available in your language.
player loading
EPTV investigates efforts to bring healthcare and psychological support to women in the camps fleeing war and violence.
No running water, no electricity winter cold and sludge as far as the eye can see, welcome to Grande Synthe. This illegal camp harbours around 2,000 people from Iraq and Syria, among them 200 women. The only help these migrant women get on the ground is from NGOs such as Gynaecology Without Borders.

Our mission is to care for patients who have gynaecological problems are pregnant or are seeking terminations, and also bring them psychological support. But it's not always easy for migrant women to seek out help. We have to identify strategic locations as we don't meet the women in the camps. They don't dare come and talk to you? -No. And we don't see them, you can't just go into their tents, it's very complicated. Their first case that day is the probable miscarriage of a Kurdish woman who has been there for ten days. She is one month and one week pregnant, and she's bleeding, she is sick and can't eat.

She is in a very bad situation, the ambulance is coming. The suffering already comes from being uprooted, everything they have already lived through on their journey and then now it's their lives here.

A situation of suffering and despair that many MEPs denounce.
During the journey, a phenomenal number of women experience violence, very often before they leave, not only in war but actually domestic violence. And then on the journey, high levels of gender-based violence against them, rape, and in quite a lot of cases transactional sex to pay the smugglers and the traffickers.
Mary Honeyball
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
Although they live a hellish situation, they will see their journey through for the sake of their children and themselves.