10-11 November 2023, Istanbul

As Refugee Rights Turkey, we organized a workshop on “Access to Justice for Migrant and Refugee Women” on 10 and 11 November 2023 with over 40 representatives from 9 different cities and 24 different organizations from Turkiye.

The first day of the workshop began with discussion sessions. Participants had the opportunity to discuss their organizations' work, share field observations, address related problems, propose solutions to identified issues, and highlight examples of success.

On the second day, the workshop opened with a presentation by Emrah Çelik from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) on “Support and Protection for Syrian Women Affected by Gender-Based Violence Post-Earthquake.” Çelik addressed the difficulties faced by this vulnerable population in the aftermath of the earthquake and assessed the adequacy and effectiveness of response mechanisms available to address gender-based violence (GBV).

Following this, Zeynep Pınar Erdem from the MENA Organization for Services, Advocacy, Integration, and Capacity Building (MOSAIC) presented on “Challenges Faced by LBT Refugee Women in Accessing Services.” Erdem discussed the obstacles this group encounters, including persecution in their countries of origin and destination, low access to information on services, inadequate social assistance and economic hardship, and barriers to accessing shelters.

Açelya Uçan from Mor Çatı Women's Shelter Foundation delivered a presentation on “Empowering Migrant and Refugee Women against Gender-Based Violence.” Uçan introduced the activities of Mor Çatı, the general situation in Turkey concerning the struggle against violence against women, the special needs of migrant and refugee women, and the difficulties they face, such as a lack of information about rights and services, language barriers, discrimination, poverty, and being unregistered.

The final presentation on “Supporting Migrant and Refugee Women’s Access to Legal Aid and Legal Remedies” was given by Att. Ece Albayrak & Att. Yeşim Soydan from the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre of Istanbul Bar Association and Att. Songül Uçar & Att. Arzu Aydoğan from the Refugee Rights Centre of Ankara Bar Association. They introduced the legal aid services provided by each bar association to women migrants and refugees, highlighted challenges such as insufficient budget and interpreter assistance, and discussed the adverse effects of Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.