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Sexual Violence against Men and Boys in Conflict and Displacement: Findings from a Qualitative Study in Bangladesh, Italy, and Kenya. Synthesis Report

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Sexual violence is a serious human rights violation. Existing evidence demonstrates that women and girls bear the brunt of sexual victimization in conflict and non-conflict-affected settings. At the same time, some men and boys are also sexually victimized in these contexts. Persons with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sexual characteristics (SOGIESC) are particularly vulnerable to sexual victimization.

In 2018 and 2019, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) undertook qualitative, exploratory research on sexual violence against men and boys in conflict and displacement. The study explored the characteristics and impacts of sexual violence against refugee men and boys and examined the availability and accessibility of selected services for male survivors in three settings. Study populations and sites were Rohingya refugees from northern Rakhine state, Myanmar, living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; refugees and migrants who had traveled the central Mediterranean migration route through Libya, now living in Rome and Sicily, Italy; and refugees from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, and South Sudan living in Nairobi and Mombasa counties, Kenya.

Researchers undertook semi-structured key informant interviews with frontline aid workers and human rights experts and semistructured focus group discussions with refugees, including adolescent boys, young men, adult men, adult women, men with physical disabilities, and refugees with SOGIESC.

Reports were published on each of these studies. This report presents a summary of the key findings and key recommendations from the synthesis report.