SVZV, the support group for women without a residence permit (Steungroep Vrouwen Zonder Verblijfsvergunning), has been working towards improving circumstances for women without a residence permit since 1995.
Since the nineties, the rights of immigrants without residence permits have been rapidly declining, and this problem greatly affects women. Specifically, they face particular difficulties when it comes to work, healthcare, pregnancy, childcare, violence (including domestic and sexual violence), and legal status. As such, SVZV wants to address these issues, while at the same time providing support to women to help them expand their options.
In the Netherlands, women without residence permits come from various backgrounds and for various reasons. Most women come here to either look for work, to join their parents or partner, or to escape war, violence or natural disasters. Other times, women arrive as victims of human trafficking or come in attempts to leave an abusive partner or home.
Additionally, many women who are undocumented in the Netherlands have sought asylum in the past and were denied, but cannot return to their home country, and/or are awaiting the results of one or more legal proceedings to obtain a residence permit. Some women come and live here alone, while others come with or have children and/or a partner, which can add to the challenges faced as an undocumented immigrant.
Nevertheless, all these women (and sometimes their families) face similar disadvantages due to their status: They are excluded from practically all government services in the Netherlands due to the repressive immigration policies, and we believe this goes against the meaning of justice and violates these women’s human rights. Therefore, SVZV opposes discrimination and stigmas held against people without a residence permit.
There are no illegal people, only inhumane laws!
SVZV’s mission is to strengthen the fundamental and practical position of women without a residence permit by increasing these women’s autonomy. We do this through weekly consultation hours where we learn about the women and their needs and then help them to make practical arrangements regarding housing, medical and legal matters, education and training options. We actively create services and build networks by and for women and direct these women to other organisations which can provide additional assistance, when necessary.
Nevertheless, we cannot do this alone. We need your help to fulfil our mission! SVZV has approximately eight volunteers who diligently work on accomplishing our goals, but we also depend on personal donations and funding to cover our expenses, which comprise of but are not limited to emergency services, informational evenings, activities with women and administrative costs.
Therefore, we hope that you will become a donor and support us through a regular or one-time donation, no matter how large or small, and we thank you in advance for your support! Click here for more information about how you can help the SVZV Support Group.