Working Together to Prevent Sexual Exploitation – WATAN

Working Together to Prevent Sexual Exploitation

The safety risks that internally displaced people (IDPs) face are exacerbated during crises, and the frequency of discrimination and exploitation against them increases. Therefore, WATAN has undertaken a project to tackle this: holding sessions for camp residents about protecting against sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as holding relevant training for members of the communities in which WATAN serves, to come up with points of contact that would achieve sustainability for the project’s goal. This is in addition to training the cadres of WATAN, and the cadres of the organisations affiliated with WATAN’s network, in cooperation with IOM within 15 camps in the areas of Idlib and Harem.

 WATAN also contributes to supporting complementary activities to the project, such as the training of cadres for 100 community service centers.

The project aims to introduce the camp residents to the meaning of cases of sexual exploitation and abuse, how to report them, and the danger of remaining silent about such cases, in addition to raising their awareness of the forms of inappropriate behaviour by humanitarian workers.

The urgent need for the project is a result of cases of sexual exploitation of the affected population by some humanitarian workers, due to the lack of awareness, on both sides, of the rules of conduct in humanitarian work, and free humanitarian aid.

In updating the sessions implemented until last August, a number of beneficiaries (men, women and children) were targeted with awareness-raising sessions. In addition, there was a training of a number of WATAN cadre staff, and coordinating in the camps to train and rehabilitate contact points.

Since the launch of the project at the beginning of last July until now, the number of beneficiaries has been 1200 out of about 6000, with the scheme targeting men, women and children, as they underwent awareness-raising sessions.

In the near future, it is expected for the project to reach the number of beneficiaries according to the project work plan, and increase the disclosing and reporting of inappropriate cases and the exploitation of both sexes.