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A foreword

Maria Cristina Boidi, Coordinator of LEFÖ

Maria Cristina Boidi, coordinadora de LEFÖ

Every woman has the right to a life in dignity.

  • We advocate for the rights of migrant women and for the improvement of their living conditions.
  • Our vision is a society in which differences are an enriching and natural part of our lives in community.
  • Our everyday practical work is settled within the context of the overall social reality. Here, we take a path of common and interconnected steps.
  • We orientate our work toward the vision of a society in which marginalizations have no place and carry the utopia of a just world for migrant women, for women and for all.


LEFÖ is an association by and for migrant women founded in 1985 by Latin American women living in exile in Austria. LEFÖ has made an exerted effort to respond to migrant women’s diversified and complex needs due to the migration movements over the past 25 years.  LEFÖ has been a pioneer in Austria in working with migrant women in sex work and with women affected by trafficking. Today, LEFÖ is still the only organization in Austria that provides a broad spectrum of counseling and support for migrant women and advocates for their rights.

More about the history of LEFÖ (pdf)

The high visibility of female migrants in Western Europe and of the exploitation arising from their living and working situations are consistently obscured within human and women’s rights contexts. Addressing this occlusion forms the basis for the work at LEFÖ.
LEFÖ is based on the participation, empowerment and self-organization of migrant women.
LEFÖ has offered counseling, support and assistance to migrant women in Austria since 1985. LEFÖ provides support for legal, psychosocial and health issues, encourages the real integration of marginalized women and advocates for equal opportunities and participation for migrant women.


LEFÖ advocates for

  • Support and empowerment of migrant women
  • Empowerment of women throughout their entire migration process
  • Betterment of living and working conditions for migrant women in Austria
  • Protection of migrant women against racism, violence, exploitation and human rights violations
  • Counseling and education opportunities for migrant women that correspond to their concrete life situations
  • Information and engagement with issues of women’s migration, trafficking in women and sex work
  • Sensitization and lobbying to combat the political and social stigmatization of migrant women.