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IDPs

Prevalence of War-Related Sexual Violence and Other Human Rights Abuses Among Internally Displaced Persons in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Amowitz, Lynn L., Chen Reis, Kristina Hare Lyons, Beth Vann, Binta Mansaray, Adyinka Akinsulure-Smith, Louise Taylor, and Vincent Iacopino. 2002. “Prevalence of War-Related Sexual Violence and Other Human Rights Abuses Among Internally Displaced Persons in Sierra Leone.” JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association 287 (4): 513-21.

Authors: Lynn L. Amowitz, Chen Reis, Kristina Hare Lyons, Beth Vann, Binta Mansaray, Adyinka Akinsulure-Smith, Louise Taylor, Vincent Iacopino

Abstract:

Context: Sierra Leone's decade-long conflict has cost tens of thousands of lives and all parties to the conflict have committed abuses.

Objective: To assess the prevalence and impact of war-related sexual violence and other human rights abuses among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sierra Leone.

Design and Setting: A cross-sectional, randomized survey, using structured interviews and questionnaires, of internally displaced Sierra Leone women who were living in 3 IDP camps and 1 town, which were conducted over a 4-week period in 2001.

Participants: A total of 991 women provided information on 9166 household members. The mean (SE) age of the respondents was 34 (0.48) years (range, 14-80 years). The majority of the women sampled were poorly educated (mean [SE], 1.9 [0.11] years of formal education); 814 were Muslim (82%), and 622 were married (63%).

Main Outcome Measures: Accounts of war-related sexual assault and other human rights abuses.

Results: Overall, 13% (1157) of household members reported incidents of war-related human rights abuses in the last 10 years, including abductions, beatings, killings, sexual assaults and other abuses. Ninety-four (9%) of 991 respondents and 396 (8%) of 5001 female household members reported war-related sexual assaults. The lifetime prevalence of non–war-related sexual assault committed by family members, friends, or civilians among these respondents was also 9%, which increased to 17% with the addition of war-related sexual assaults (excluding 1% of participants who reported both war-related and non–war-related sexual assault). Eighty-seven percent of women believed that there should be legal protection for women's human rights. More than 60% of respondents believed that a man has a right to beat his wife if she disobeys, and that it is a wife's duty/obligation to have sex with her husband even if she does not want to.

Conclusions: Sexual violence committed by combatants in Sierra Leone was widespread and was perpetrated in the context of a high level of human rights abuses against the civilian population.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2002

Social Support and Distress Among Q’eqchi’ Refugee Women in Maya Tecun, Mexico

Citation:

Warner, Faith R. 2007. “Social Support and Distress Among Q’eqchi’ Refugee Women in Maya Tecun, Mexico.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 21 (2): 193–217.

Author: Faith R. Warner

Abstract:

This article addresses issues of vulnerability and distress through an analysis of the relationship between social support networks and traumatic stress in a Q'eqchi' refugee community in southern Mexico. The sociopolitical violence, forced displacement, and encampment of Guatemalan Mayan populations resulted in the breakdown and dispersal of kin and community groups, leaving many Q'eqchi' women with weakened social support networks. Research involving testimonial interviews and traumatic stress and social support questionnaires revealed that Q'eqchi' refugee women with weak natal kin social support networks reported greater feelings of distress and symptoms of traumatic stress than did women with strong networks. In particular, a condition identified as muchkej emerged as one of the most significant symptoms reported by women with weak natal kin support networks. I critically consider muchkej as an idiom of distress and argue that aid organizations should consider the relationship between social support and traumatic stress, as expressed through such idioms, when attempting to identify vulnerable members of a refugee population.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2007

High Prevalence of Self-Reported Forced Sexual Intercourse Among Internally Displaced Women in Azerbaijan

Citation:

Kerimova, Jamila, Samuel Posner, Y. Teresa Brown, Susan Hillis, Susan Meikle, and Ann Duerr. 2003. “High Prevalence of Self-Reported Forced Sexual Intercourse Among Internally Displaced Women in Azerbaijan.” American Journal of Public Health 93 (7): 1067–70.

Authors: Jamila Kerimova, Samuel Posner, Y. Teresa Brown, Susan Hillis, Susan Meikle, Ann Duerr

Abstract:

Previous reports have shown that forced sexual intercourse and other forms of gender-based violence are a persistent public health problem for refugee or internally displaced women. (Internal displacement is defined as forced relocation within a person’s country of citizenship because of some catastrophic event.) In some settings, the proportion of refugee or internally displaced women reporting some type of gender-based violence exceeds 60%. Sexual violence against refugee or internally displaced women can cause women to flee their homelands. Unfortunately, these women are not always safe from harm after their relocation or after resettlement. Investigation of sexual violence affecting these women, its incidence, prevalence, and correlates is critical to the development of effective treatment and prevention strategies.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Reproductive Health, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Asia, Central Asia, Europe, South Caucasus Countries: Azerbaijan

Year: 2003

Ensuring the Reproductive Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Legal and Policy Issues

Citation:

Girard, Francoise, and Wilhelmina Waldman. 2000. “Ensuring the Reproductive Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Legal and Policy Issues.” International Family Planning Perspectives 26 (4): 167–73. doi:10.2307/2648254.

Authors: Francoise Girard, Wilhelmina Waldman

Topics: Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Gender, Health, Reproductive Health

Year: 2000

HIV and Conflict in Nepal: Relation and Strategy for Response

Citation:

Karkee, Rajendra, and DB Shrestha. 2006. “HIV and Conflict in Nepal: Relation and Strategy for Response.” Kathmandu University Medical Journal 4 (3): 363–67.

Authors: Rajendra Karkee, DB Shrestha

Abstract:

Conflict and displacement make affected population more vulnerable to HIV infection. Refugees and internally displaced persons, in particular women and children, are at increased risk of exposure to HIV. In Nepal, there is considerable increase in the number of HIV infection since 1996 when conflict started. Along with poverty, stigma and lack of awareness, conflict related displacement, economic migration, and closure of HIV programmes have exacerbated the HIV situation in Nepal. Government has established “National AIDS Council” and launched HIV/AIDS Strategy. The strategy has not included the specific needs of displaced persons. While launching an HIV prevention programme in the conflict situation, the guidelines developed by Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASS) are important tools. This led to suggestion of an approach with implementations steps in the case of Nepal in this report.

Keywords: HIV, conflict, Nepal, Response

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Governance, Health, HIV/AIDS Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2006

Health Services for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in Northern Uganda: A Qualitative Study

Citation:

Henttonen, Mirkka, Charlotte Watts, Bayard Roberts, Felix Kaducu, and Matthias Borchert. 2008. “Health Services for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in Northern Uganda: A Qualitative Study.” Reproductive Health Matters 16 (31): 122–31.

Authors: Mirkka Henttonen, Charlotte Watts, Bayard Roberts, Felix Kaducu, Matthias Borchert

Abstract:

The 20-year war in northern Uganda has resulted in up to 1.7 million people being internally displaced, and impoverishment and vulnerability to violence amongst the civilian population. This qualitative study examined the status of health services available for the survivors of gender-based violence in the Gulu district, northern Uganda. Semi-structured interviews were carried out in 2006 with 26 experts on gender-based violence and general health providers, and availability of medical supplies was reviewed. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) guidelines on gender-based violence interventions in humanitarian settings were used to prepare the interview guides and analyse the findings. Some legislation and programmes do exist on gender-based violence. However, health facilities lacked sufficiently qualified staff and medical supplies to adequately detect and manage survivors, and confidential treatment and counselling could not be ensured. There was inter-sectoral collaboration, but greater resources are required to increase coverage and effectiveness of services. Intimate partner violence, sexual abuse of girls aged under 18, sexual harassment and early and forced marriage may be more common than rape by strangers. As the IASC guidelines focus on sexual violence by strangers and do not address other forms of gender-based violence, we suggest the need to explore this issue further to determine whether a broader concept of gender-based violence should be incorporated into the guidelines.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Reproductive Health, Trauma, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2008

Women and Wars

Citation:

Cohn, Carol, ed. 2012. Women and Wars. Malden, MA: Polity Press. 

Author: Carol Cohn

Abstract:

Where are the women? In traditional historical and scholarly accounts of the making and fighting of wars, women are often nowhere to be seen. With few exceptions, war stories are told as if men were the only ones who plan, fight, are injured by, and negotiate ends to wars. As the pages of this book tell, though, those accounts are far from complete. Women can be found at every turn in the gendered phenomena of war. Women have participated in the making, fighting, and concluding of wars throughout history, and their participation is only increasing at the turn of the 21st century. Women experience war in multiple ways: as soldiers, as fighters, as civilians, as caregivers, as sex workers, as sexual slaves, refugees and internally displaced persons, as anti-war activists, as community peace-builders, and more. This book at once provides a glimpse into where women are in war, and gives readers the tools to understand women's (told and untold) war experiences in the greater context of the gendered nature of global social and political life. (Polity Press)

Annotation:

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Cynthia Enloe

1. Women and Wars: Toward a Conceptual Framework
Carol Cohn

2. Women and the Political Economy of War
Angela Raven-Roberts

3. Sexual Violence and Women's Health in War
Pamela DeLargy

4. Women Forced to Flee: Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
Wenona Giles

5. Women and Political Activism in the Face of War and Militarization
Carol Cohn and Ruth Jacobson

6. Women and State Military Forces
Jennifer G. Mathers

7. Women, Girls, and Non-State Armed Opposition Groups
Dyan Mazurana

8. Women and Peace Processes
Malathi de Alwis, Julie Mertus, and Tazreena Sajjad

9. Women, Girls, and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR)
Dyan Mazurana and Linda Eckerbom Cole

10. Women "After" Wars
Ruth Jacobson

 

Reviews of Women and Wars:

By Laura Shepherd: http://www.genderanddevelopment.org/page/women-wars-review

By Christine Sylvester: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2013/04/08/book-review-women-and-wars-carol-cohn/

By Erika Cudworth: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21693293.2013.768009

By Katherine E. Brown: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9012414

By Jean Owen: http://fwsablog.org.uk/2013/05/27/book-review-women-and-wars-ed-carol-cohn/

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Girls, Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Non-state Armed Groups, Peace Processes, Political Economies, Political Participation, Post-Conflict

Year: 2012

South Africa at the Crossroads of Human Trafficking: War-Pushed and Hope-Driven

Citation:

Cucumanova, Vanya. 2010. "South Africa at the Crossroads of Human Trafficking: War-Pushed and Hope-Driven." South African Catholic Bishop's Conference, Parliamentary Liaison Office: 1-38. 

Author: Vanya Cucumanova

Keywords: human trafficking, refugees, internally displaced people, peacekeeping, border patrol, accountability, conflict, local government, sex trafficking

Annotation:

Quotes:

"This article discusses human trafficking in Africa. Armed conflict is recognized as a heavily contributing factor, as the individuals (women and children in particular) who are internally displaced in situations of conflict are most vulnerable to traffickers. The author explores this connection between human trafficking and conflict in Africa through research on refugees and internally-displaced persons, the effect of peacekeeping personnel, and the effects and implications of border patrol. South Africa is used as a case study that “highlights the counter-trafficking provisions in South African law, strives to assess the vulnerabilities of conflict-pushed migrants (refugees), and discusses the implications of border patrol (or the lack of it) on human trafficking in this context.” (29)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Gender, Women, Peacekeeping, Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2010

Facing Destruction, Rebuilding Life: Gender and the Internally Displaced in Colombia

Citation:

Meertens, Donny, and Richard Stoller. 2001. "Facing Destruction, Rebuilding Life: Gender and the Internally Displaced in Colombia." Latin American Perspectives 28 (1): 132-148.

Authors: Donny Meertens, Richard Stoller

Abstract:

Political violence and its social consequences have affected women and men differently. "Gender violence" as a dimension of political violence has changed in content and intensity along with the growing instrumentalism of military actions. Among the victims of displacement, traditional peasant women, particularly the widows of violence, have suffered a greater loss of social identity than have men. However, it is they who must assume responsibility for the physical survival of their families and face the construction of a new social identity in an unknown and hostile urban setting. Displaced men, for their part, with their greater geographic mobility and greater social and political experience, have faced the rupture of their rural social fabric with greater force, but in the phase of reconstruction of family life the opportunities for men and women seem to become inverted: the impact of displacement for men is concentrated in their unemployment, a situation that takes away their role of economic provider. In contrast, women seem better equipped to continue their domestic routines--in the service of others, as well as in their own households. Despite the traumas, the poverty, the lack of space to mourn, even widows have encountered new opportunities for personal development. These possibilities have come with greater force for those peasant women whose previous organizational and leadership experiences help them overcome the tragedies of displacement and undertake personal and collective reconstruction in their new urban lives.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2001

If Not Now, When? Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Refugee, Internally Displaced, and Post-Conflict Settings: A Global Overview

Citation:

Ward, Jeanne. 2002. If Not Now, When? Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Refugee, Internally Displaced, and Post-Conflict Settings: A Global Overview. New York: The Reproductive Health for Refugees Consortium.  

Author: Jeanne Ward

Keywords: gender violence, refugee, displacement, post-conflict, human trafficking

Annotation:

This report addresses gender-based violence (GBV) in refugee, internally displaced, and post-conflict settings through twelve country profiles: three each for Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The profiles include background information, GBV issues, GBV-related programming, and recommendations. The report focuses almost exclusively on violence against women and girls, and human trafficking is one of the main issues discussed. 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Reproductive Health, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, South America, Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Congo-Brazzaville, Guatemala, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Timor-Leste

Year: 2002

Pages

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