Belgium: Stricter immigration laws put women at abuse risk

The stricter immigration law makes especially women extra vulnerable to abuse by their partner. That is one of the conclusions from a study by the Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism.

The study was prepared by the universities of Antwerp and Leuven and focused on three groups of marriage immigrants: from Morocco and Turkey, from the former Eastern block and from South-East Asia. the study shows that marriage migrants are mostly women, especially those coming from South-East Asia and Eastern Europe. The Turks and Moroccans form the biggest group of marriage immigrants.

The study shows that the female marriage immigrants are in a bad social-economic status. Of the group that came to Belgium in 2000, barely a third were working three years later. For immigrants form the Mediterranean region that was almost 90%.

The Asians and East Europeans were more often employed. The women in most cases also worked in their homelands. A striking note was that marriage immigrants from Russia, the Ukraine, Poland and White Russia held relatively top positions in the labor market before they emigrated.

Source: HLN (Dutch)

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