Refugees Are in Urgent Need of Protection from Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Amnesty International
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November 25, 2016

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign that started in 1991 and originates from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute. Participants chose the 16 days between 25 November (International Day Against Violence Against Women) and 10 December (International Human Rights Day) in order to emphasise that gender-based violence and violence against women is a violation of human rights. (IFRC)

There is an urgent need for governments around the world to provide better protection for women and girls, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees, who face appalling levels of sexual and gender based violence at every stage of their journeys, Amnesty International said today as an international campaign, 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, was launched.

“Imagine living in a refugee camp where you are too scared to go the toilet, or being subjected to sexual harassment on a daily basis in your host community because of your gender or identity. This is the terrifying reality for hundreds of thousands of women and girls and LGBTI refugees around the world, and the shameful inaction of wealthy governments is prolonging it,” said Catherine Murphy, Law and Policy Advisor at Amnesty International.

“To mark the beginning of the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, we are urging governments around the world to implement their legal obligations to eliminate gender based violence. This means taking targeted measures like ensuring that police provide a safe and confidential environment for refugees to report incidents of gender based violence.

“It is also vital that governments around the world do more to share responsibility for protecting refugees by significantly increasing the number of resettlement places made available for refugees most in need of protection. The poverty and insecurity in which many refugees find themselves in countries like Lebanon and Libya heightens the risk of sexual exploitation and gender based violence.”

The annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based violence is a global campaign, coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, to raise awareness about violence against women and girls, and is an opportunity to show international solidarity in the fight to end violence against women.

Refugees and migrants in transit are at high risk of abuse, including violence and human trafficking. Women, girls and LGBTI individuals face specific threats such as sexual harassment, rape and other forms of gender based violence, underscoring the urgent need for safe and legal routes.

Read the rest at Amnesty International

Related: 25th November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Inter Press Service)

Related: Violence Against Black Women in Brazil on the Rise, Despite Better Laws (Inter Press Service)

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