Unseen, Unheard: Gender-Based Violence in Disasters. Asia Pacific case studies

Unseen, Unheard: Gender-Based Violence in Disasters. Asia Pacific case studies

Purpose
This report follows on from the global study Unseen Unheard: gender based violence in disasters which saw research being conducted in 9 countries globally, and included Bangladesh, Myanmar and Samoa from the Asia Pacific region. The Asia Pacific case studies provide an overview of gender-based violence (GBV) within each country context, as well as presenting findings and key recommendations with regards to 1) Awareness and understanding on GBV occurrence during disasters; 2) Availability and access to services; 3) Safety and security and; 4) Livelihoods and migration.

Overview
This report features three case studies from that study, each from Asia-Pacific:

  • The first is from Bangladesh, a country with a legacy of cyclical disasters, including cyclones, floods and landslides. The study finds that some of the primary needs among those affected by cyclones include safe shelter settings for women and girls and, in particular, pregnant women, in order to prevent and reduce the risks of GBV.
  • The second case study is from Samoa. In the aftermath of the 2009 Tsunami and 2012 Cyclone Evan, survivors reported GBV in shelters created for people displaced by the disasters. They also told us of an increase in domestic violence following the disasters.
  • The third case study is from Myanmar, and looks at GBV occurrence and response after Cyclone Nargis in 2008. The results of this case study are interesting: half of respondents cited an increase in GBV after the cyclone, while others claimed that it did not arise at all because of strong family and community-based support systems. Such a puzzle may point to the culture of silence that surrounds GBV.

Usage: Policy reference and learning from experience

Audience: National Society staff, particularly gender and diversity practitioners.

See also: Resolution on “Sexual and gender-based violence: Joint action on prevention and response” which was adopted in December 2015 by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent .This resolution was a direct outcome of the studies we undertook in Bangladesh, Samoa, Myanmar and elsewhere.

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Author: IFRC
Publication date: December 1, 2016
Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 5.78
Country: Regional
Resource type: Report, Research

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Myanmar Gender-based Violence (GBV). Donor Briefing

Myanmar Gender-based Violence (GBV). Donor Briefing

Purpose

This document provides an overview of gender-based violence (GBV) in Myanmar. It looks at progress in GBV programming and coordination and provides recommendations for action against GBV.

Overview

Gender-based violence has been widespread in Myanmar even prior to the conflicts in Rakhine and Kachin. There is however almost no data collected of pre-conflict levels of GBV in Myanmar to establish a baseline. Despite the reports of GBV during the conflicts in Rakhine and Kachin, there are very few actual cases of survivors reporting to authorities in either of those states, or in Myanmar as a whole, due in large part to the shortage of services available, and fears of reprisals.

To date, gender-based violence (GBV) programming has been extremely limited, implemented by agencies with limited scope and with minimal work done on actual response. However, with dedicated funding, significant progress has been made in the field. Dedicated GBV Coordinators have been based in Yangon, Sittwe, and Myitkyina to lead the GBV field-based working groups, provide technical guidance and assistance to service providers, to identify geographical and programmatic gaps, and to ensure the implementation of promising practice and activities that are consistent with international standards.

Recommendations for action include: increase provision of survivor-centred, life-saving health and emotional support response services to survivors of sexual assault; target prevention activities to address the acute and immediate risks faced by women and girls; promote safe and ethical collection and sharing of data and information; work with police and service providers to ensure survivors have faster access to services.

Usage: Policy development

Audiences: National Society leadership, Technical staff

Reference: Global Protection Cluster (2014). Myanmar Gender-based Violence (GBV). Donor Briefing (pp. 1-2).

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Publication date: June 1, 2014
Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 0.24
Country: Myanmar
Resource type: Awareness materials, Report

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Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (PSEA) Emergency Programme Checklist and Quick Reminder

Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (PSEA) Emergency Programme Checklist and Quick Reminder

Purpose: 

This document provides a checklist for the response design phase of a programme to enable reflection on the risk of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA), and approaches for mitigating this. It also provides guidance on minimising harm linked to Red Cross presence through PSEA.

Overview

No staff or volunteers shall: commit any act of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse or sexual violence; engage in any sexual activity with persons (adult or child) that look to or benefit from assistance; exchange money, employment, goods or services for sex, or sexual favours; engage in any acts which could be considered harassment, abuse, discrimination or exploitation.

Managers’ responsibilities include ensuring all staff and volunteers are: aware of all people involved in project activities; are briefed on a staff and volunteer Code of Conduct and sign it; explain this code of conduct to others; and know their roles and responsibility as part of this. Managers should also inform beneficiaries and community members about: their right to be protected from abuse and exploitation by staff and volunteers; what conduct they can expect from staff and how to raise concerns; programme activities, entitlements and targeting processes. Finally, they should design and implement programmes through a PSEA lens and ensure community and staff reporting options are in place.

Usage: Guidance for project implementation

Audiences: Technical staff, Gender and diversity practitioners, Volunteers

Reference: British Red Cross (2013). Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Emergency Programme Checklist and Quick Reminder for Managers, (pp. 1-2).

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Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 0.06
Country: Global, Regional
Resource type: Checklist, Guidelines

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“I see that it is Possible” Building Capacity for Disability Inclusion in Gender-Based Violence Programming in Humanitarian Settings

“I see that it is Possible” Building Capacity for Disability Inclusion in Gender-Based Violence Programming in Humanitarian Settings

Purpose

This report documents the key findings and lessons learned from a project the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) conducted to identify the barriers that people with disabilities face in accessing programmes and services designed to prevent and respond to GBV, and to pilot and evaluate solutions for promoting disability inclusion in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) programmes in conflict-affected settings. It concludes with practical recommendations for a range of humanitarian actors, governments and donors to improve disability inclusion in GBV programming in humanitarian settings.

The project was conducted in conflict-affected communities in Burundi, Ethiopia, Jordan and the Northern Caucasus in the Russian Federation.

Overview

  • Negative attitudes and discrimination by GBV service providers, family and community members prevented access to GBV prevention activities and response services.
  • Inadequate transportation to activity locations and service centres, and lack of use of appropriate communication approaches by GBV practitioners, particularly for people who are deaf or with intellectual disabilities, also served as a barrier to access and participation.
  • Caregivers of persons with disabilities report being excluded from activities as a result of being unable to leave the people they care for.

Usage: Learning from experience

Audiences: National Society leadership; Technical staff; Gender and diversity practitioners

Parts of this report: the full report, 2-pager summary and toolkit

Reference: Women’s Refugee Commission (May 2015). “I see that It Is Possible” Building Capacity for Disability Inclusion in Gender-Based Violence Programming in Humanitarian Settings. Pp.1-41. Available from: https://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/resources/document/945-building-capacity-for-disability-inclusion-in-gender-based-violence-gbv-programming-in-humanitarian-settings-overview [Accessed: 18th July 2016].

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Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 0.13
Country: Global, Regional

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Building Capacity for Disability Inclusion in Gender-Based Violence Programming in Humanitarian Settings – A Toolkit for GBV Practitioners

Building Capacity for Disability Inclusion in Gender-Based Violence Programming in Humanitarian Settings – A Toolkit for GBV Practitioners

Purpose

The toolkit contains 12 tools designed to support gender-based violence (GBV) staff to build disability inclusion into their work, and to strengthen the capacity of GBV practitioners to use a survivor-centred approach when providing services to survivors with disabilities. The tools cover three sections: disability inclusion in GBV programme planning; disability inclusion in GBV programme implementation; and monitoring and evaluating disability inclusion in GBV programmes.

Overview

The tools for each section are:

  • Disability inclusion in GBV programme-planning: guidance on including people with disabilities and caregivers in GBV assessments; group discussion guide; and individual interview tool.
  • Disability inclusion in GBV programme implementation: gender-based violence and disability: a training module for GBV practitioners in humanitarian settings; pre- and post-training test for the GBV and disability training module; guidance on communicating with people with disabilities; accessible information, education and communication (IEC) materials; guidance for GBV caseworkers: applying the guiding principles when working with survivors of disabilities; guidance for GBV service providers: informed consent process with adult survivors with disabilities; and working with caregivers of survivors with disabilities.
  • Monitoring and evaluating disability inclusion in GBV programmes: reflection tool for GBV practitioners; and documenting “stories of change”.

Usage: Guidance for project implementation

Audiences: Technical staff; Gender and diversity practitioners

Reference: Women’s Refugee Commission (2015). Building Capacity for Disability Inclusion in Gender-Based Violence Programming in Humanitarian Settings – A Toolkit for GBV Practitioners. International Rescue Committee. Pp. 1-3. Available from: https://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/?option=com_zdocs&view=document&id=1173 [Accessed: 18th July 2016].

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Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 2
Country: Regional
Resource type: Toolkit

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Rapid Assessment Guide for Psychosocial Support and Violence Prevention in Emergencies and Recovery

Rapid Assessment Guide for Psychosocial Support and Violence Prevention in Emergencies and Recovery

Purpose

This guide provides standards and directions on how to carry out rapid needs assessment for Psychosocial Support (PSS) and Violence Prevention (VP) initiatives including child protection and sexual and gender-based violence.

In particular, this rapid assessment tool is designed to help gather data in an efficient and effective way to help inform integration of PSS and VP issues, as minimum standards, into the broader disaster management action plans in response to an emergency.

Overview

  • Part 1 of the guide looks at setting up an assessment. This includes issues such as: standards; ethical guidelines for conducting an assessment (do no harm); ethical guidelines for conducting assessments with children; the approach; and forming an assessment team.
  • Part 2 deals with focus group discussions / questions for qualitative data collection: why it is important; and specific detailed questions for greater depth.
  • Part 3 looks at the situation/context questionnaire: why it is important; questions on physical layout of the community; questions on community leadership structure; overview of violence; questions on reports of violence; and reporting/referrals.
  • Part 4 is an environmental walk-around: an examination of the community/camp from which data is being collected from the perspective of the assessment team.
  • Part 5 deals with the internal questionnaire for leadership of the National Society; and
  • Part 6 looks at the importance of analysis checklists.

Usage: Guidance for project implementation

Audiences: Technical staff

Reference: Canadian Red Cross and IFRC (2015). Rapid Assessment Guide for Psychosocial Support and Violence Prevention in Emergencies and Recovery. Pp. 2-48. Available from: http://pscentre.org/wp-content/uploads/PSS-and-VP-Rapid-Assessment-Tool-Emergencies-and-Recovery-2015.pdf [Accessed: 18th July 2016].

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Publication date: January 1, 2015
Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 5.08
Country: Global, Regional
Resource type: Guidelines

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Predictable, Preventable: Best Practices for Addressing Interpersonal and Self-Directed Violence during and after Disasters

Predictable, Preventable: Best Practices for Addressing Interpersonal and Self-Directed Violence during and after Disasters

Purpose

This advocacy report encourages making the prevention of interpersonal and self-directed violence a priority within the International Federation’s response to disasters. It highlights why and how interpersonal and self-directed violence during and after disasters is a predictable and preventable problem and the actions the International Federation and its partner agencies should take to have a more engaged role in addressing them.

Overview

  • In disaster after disaster, the risk of interpersonal and self-directed violence increases from a combination of factors. Factors include the collapse of protective systems, increased individual and community stress, individuals relying on harmful coping mechanisms such as alcohol and drugs, and crowded and insecure environments.
  • Although anyone can be vulnerable to violence, people with pre-existing vulnerabilities to violence, such as children, women and others who are marginalised, are at particular risk.
  • Although the problem of violence in disasters is complex, it is not inevitable. Violence can be prevented. The risk of violence needs to be addressed through a public health approach that is part of all programming sectors in a disaster.
  • Best practices exist and can be implemented across the disaster management cycle.

Usage: Guidance for project implementation

Audiences: National Society leadership; Technical staff; Gender and diversity practitioners

Reference: Canadian Red Cross and IFRC (2012). Predictable, Preventable: Best Practices for Addressing Interpersonal and Self-Directed Violence during and after Disasters. Pp. 1-32. Available from: http://www.ifrc.org/PageFiles/94522/ViolenceInDisasters-English-1up.pdf [Accessed: 18th July 2016].

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Publication date: January 1, 2012
Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 1.33
Country: Global, Regional
Resource type: Report, Research

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Unseen, Unheard: Gender-based violence in disasters – global study (2015)

Unseen, Unheard: Gender-based violence in disasters – global study (2015)

Purpose:

The study is designed to foster the recognition that gender-based violence (GBV) is a major feature of many conflicts and understanding its occurrence during disasters.

The research addresses three questions: 1. What characterizes GBV in disasters? 2. In what ways should legal and policy frameworks, including disaster risk management, be adapted to address GBV in disasters? 3. How should National Societies and other local actors address GBV in disasters, and what support do they need to fulfil their roles?

Overview:

The study finds that:

  • In some settings, both domestic violence and sexual violence (assault, sexual abuse, and exploitation) increase following disasters. In other settings, notably where levels of GBV are already high, it is difficult to determine whether violence increased as a result of disaster.
  • Displacement can increase the incidence of GBV, both in initial temporary shelters and when displacement becomes protracted.
  • Disasters cause impoverishment, which can induce some people to adopt negative coping strategies, including transactional sex.
  • Previous studies and news reports detected an increase in child/early marriages and trafficking in disasters, but this was not a major finding of the country studies carried out for this report. Further research may be required, perhaps using different methodologies.
  • Those responding to disasters are not aware that GBV may increase in disasters, and are neither looking nor preparing for it. Lack of data on the prevalence of GBV during disasters contributes to this lack of awareness.
  • Given the stigma and shame associated with GBV, statistics on its incidence are always problematic. This seems to be true of disaster situations too.
  • Reporting and law enforcement mechanisms as well as services for survivors of GBV are often disrupted by disasters. This also hampers the collection of data on GBV’s prevalence in disasters.
  • Several of the country studies noted that police records during disasters were poor or missing. This may indicate disruption of law-enforcement activity during emergencies.
  • While all nine countries studied have national policies on disasters and national legislation on gender, and a few refer to gender in their national disaster policies, none of their disaster plans included arrangements for preventing and responding to GBV. This reflects and may contribute to low awareness of GBV in disasters.
  • With respect to health emergencies, academic research indicates that GBV increases the incidence of HIV/AIDS and that HIV/AIDS can cause a rise in GBV. Anecdotal reports from practitioners and governments indicate that GBV increased during the Ebola crisis.
  • Disasters and conflicts are usually treated as two separate types of humanitarian emergency. The fact that disasters often occur in areas of conflict suggests that the intersections between GBV, conflict and disasters should receive more attention.

 

Recommendations made by this study include:

  • Assume that GBV is taking place, even if no reliable data are available.
  • Develop and incorporate strategies for preventing and addressing GBV in organizational responses and cultures, by raising awareness, taking measures to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by disaster responders, building local capacity, and working in partnership with other organizations.
  • Ensure that GBV and the safety of women and children are considered in all disaster preparedness and planning.
  • Recognize the role that livelihood support can play in preventing GBV, and prioritize livelihood projects for those most at risk from it.
  • Research and gather evidence on GBV in disasters; use it to inform policy.
  • Recognize the risks that GBV poses in health emergencies and take appropriate preventive action.
  • Take steps to enable communities to participate in efforts to prevent and address GBV.
  • Explore collaboratively the intersections between GBV, disasters and conflict.

Usage: Policy development

Audience: Gender and diversity practitioners

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Document Data

Author: IFRC
Publication date: November 1, 2015
Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 1.81
Country: Global
Resource type: Research

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