Violence against refugee women rises in 2020, but grassroots solutions can help tackle this crisis – Global Issues

On the 30th anniversary of the 16-day activism campaign against gender-based violence, the UN agency said there has been a global increase in domestic violence, child marriage, trafficking, sexual abuse and abuse since March.



“A deadly mix of imprisonment, deepening poverty and economic pressure is uncovered” a new wave of violence Against refugee, displaced and stateless women and girls” UNHCR said in a statement.

ground solution

To tackle the crisis, the UN agency has called for increased funding for grassroots projects focusing on preventing and helping victims of gender-based violence.



These include the Myanmar Ethnic Women’s Refugee Organization, where refugee women have joined forces to address abuse, while cementing their roles as strong defenders of their families and communities.

For the victim Deborah, a resident of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, violence against women at home was considered a family problem.



“I felt ashamed to share my experience with other people,” she said. “I was afraid they would say it was my fault.”

Through her work with a community-based organization, Deborah Mille Other women suffering in silence, and when she was invited to help design and lead a project to support refugee women affected by gender-based violence (GBV), she accepted.



Young Girls' campaign to end violence against women and girls in El Salvador.

© UNICEF

Young Girls’ campaign to end violence against women and girls in El Salvador.

COVID-19 link

UNHCR highlights that the need for such local, refugee-led projects has become even greater during COVID-19 The pandemic, as lockdowns have taken away the often precarious livelihoods of refugees, has increased household tensions and made it more difficult for international agencies to provide aid services.

The UNHCR issued the alert after an increase in gender-based violence was reported in at least 27 countries.

In the Central African Republic it warned that One incident of gender-based violence is recorded every hour.

And in Colombia, similar incidents affecting Venezuelan refugees and migrants increased by 40 percent in the first three quarters of the year, the agency said.

The UNHCR reported that the financial stress of COVID-19 and the lack of food in households during the pandemic put women at greater risk of violence at the hands of their partners.

This is the case at the Thai-Myanmar border, where refugee women who were already running aid services and safe homes for survivors of gender-based violence asked a UN agency to provide food to those families, who had lost work due to the pandemic. economic impact.

Reaffirming its commitment to addressing gender-based violence in all its work, UNHCR launched an institution-wide policy on GBV prevention, risk mitigation and response in October.

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