Horn, Rebecca, and Kim Thuy Seelinger. “Safe Haven: Sheltering Displaced Persons From Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. Case Study, Kenya.” Berkley: Human Rights Centre, May 2013.

  • Category: Reports
  • Source: NGOs
  • Subject: Asylum/Refugee,Marginalisation,Refugee Camp,UNHCR,Violence
  • Place: Kenya,Sudan
  • Year: 2013
  • File: 51dc19604.html
In an era of increased attention to conflict-related violence, we are now beginning to understand the continuum of sexual and gender-based harm that men, women, and children can suffer during armed conflict, in flight, and while temporarily resettled in refugee or internal displacement camps. Violence such as rape, gang rape, and sexual torture or slavery can occur during periods of armed conflict and may be perpetrated by different actors for different reasons. Those fleeing a conflict may still be susceptible to rape, sexual exploitation, or trafficking while attempting to secure transport, cross borders, and find lodging. Finally, even in settlement—whether in refugee or internal displacement camps or in urban centers—vulnerability to harm persists due to a number of factors, including lack of protective networks, immigration status, and basic resources. Displacement also increases vulnerability through new and exacerbating conditions, including the breakdown of family and community ties, collapsed gender roles, limited access to resources, insufficient security, and inadequate housing in camp set- tings. Refugees and internally displaced persons fleeing armed conflict or even natural disasters have few options for immediate physical protection from sexual or gender-based violence—either during flight or in camps. Further, the needs of refugees or internally displaced persons who also experience sexual and gender-based violence are likely to be urgent and complex. They may experience compounded levels of physical or psychological distress stemming from both conflict-related displacement and their experience of sexual and gender-based violence. Providing services to people with such complex vulnerabilities requires multisectoral approaches that address the special needs created by these circumstances. It is important to better understand the options for immediate safe shelter that exist in these contexts. In addition to providing immediate physical protection, programs that shelter those fleeing sexual and gender-based violence may help to facilitate access to other critical services in resource- constrained displacement settings. However, data about shelter-providing programs in these contexts is extremely limited. Evidence-based information about shelter models, client and staff needs, service challenges, and strategies is urgently required to inform policy, programming, and implementation guidance for international, national, or local entities that design or oversee these protection programs.