Hand in hand: protecting against sexual exploitation and discrimination – WATAN

Hand in hand: protecting against sexual exploitation and discrimination‎

During crises refugees face a much higher risk of being discriminated against and exploited. In response to this, WATAN has undertaken a project to raise awareness of these issues and solve them by getting to the root of them. It has started by holding sessions for camp residents raise awareness and of sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as holding relevant trainings for members of the communities in which it serves. In addition, the personnel of WATAN and the organisations affiliated with WATAN. This was done in cooperation with IOM within 15 camps in the regions of Idlib and Harem.

WATAN also supports activities compatible with the project, such as training personnel for 100 community service centres.

The project aims to introduce the residents of the camps to the different cases of sexual exploitation and abuse, how to report them, with the danger of remaining silent about such cases, in addition to raising their awareness about the importance of professional behaviour of humanitarian workers.

The need for the project has become clear since the cases within other humanitarian organisations have risen in which humanitarian workers have sexually exploited those whom they should be serving. This occurred because of a lack of awareness and sufficient action of numerous parties.

Since the latest sessions in September, the number of beneficiaries has reached: 2698, including 563 men, 941 women, as well as 1149 children. Those who benefited also included 50 trainees from community leaders in the camps and the 30 trainees from the WATAN personnel.

In the near future, the project is expected to reach it’s expected number of beneficiaries according to the initial planning as the same project will start to be implemented in other camps. Most importantly, the number of undisclosed cases of sexual exploitation of either sex is expected to decrease, and the potential of any cases should have also decreased.