The GBV Sub Working Group (SWG) conducted a four-day Inter-Agency rapid assessment on GBV in Um Rakuba and Tunaydbah camps in Gedaref State. A total of 460 (88 women, 56 girls, 64 boys and 72 men and another 108 women and 72 men in the IRC-led consultations) community members participated.
This is the second assessment conducted by the SWG. The first was conducted in Hamdayet in November 2020 and was used to inform initial service planning. This GBV assessment was undertaken to understand the GBV risks faced by women and girls, protective factors as well as gaps in the scale and quality of available multi-sectoral response services in the country of asylum. The report highlights the main GBV risks and identifies areas where the capacities of stakeholders need to be reinforced to strengthen the protection environment. The report and the recommendations are aimed at informing a coordinated humanitarian response on GBV prevention, risk mitigation and response and to ensure that the voices of women and girls guide all programming interventions. The findings will also inform programming adjustments to reduce GBV risks and strengthen protection capacities, as well as enhance systematic prioritization, fundraising and advocacy.
The assessment findings showed that participants are aware of GBV and common types of GBV. Sexual violence has been widely reported by those displaced inside Ethiopia1 and during this assessment participants reported killings, rape and physical violence during flight to Sudan. In the country of asylum, the main GBV concerns reported by women and girls include sexual harassment and fear of sexual violence, particularly at night-time. The main reported contributing factors include increasing alcohol abuse, lack of, or insufficient, basic needs and resources to meet basic needs such as cooking fuel and food and unsafe WASH facilities and shelters. The risk of sexual exploitation to secure a job or rations was mentioned by a few participants, and some participants in Um Rakuba noted that adolescent girls are atrisk of being encouraged into exploitative situations to support their families. In both locations, participants reported that those most at-risk of GBV are young women, children and older people. Poor relations with the surrounding host community was also noted as a particular concern.
Participants had limited knowledge regarding the availability of specialized GBV services in the camps and they also highlighted a number of significant barriers to reporting including lack of information, stigma and shame, and the potential for retaliation from community and family contributing to significant underreporting. There is an urgent need to address the lack of information on available services. The referral pathways need to be regularly disseminated and service providers need to address identified barriers within service provision, including language barriers.
Capacity development for key actors such as the police is a priority as is understanding the extent and nature of informal justice mechanisms. The SWG is addressing, with relevant actors, gaps in the provision of legal assistance and services for child survivors. The changing gender dynamics also presents risks, as well as opportunities, to engage with communities on social norms change. Collaboration with different sectors to address risks and integrate recommended GBV risk mitigation measures based on the participation of women and girls is also an urgent priority. All organizations need to strengthen their Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) efforts.