Dimensions of gender-based violence against Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Dimensions of gender-based violence against Syrian refugees in Lebanon

In times of conflict everyone is affected by violence; however, women and girls in particular are more at risk of facing different forms of violence including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) due to the lack of social protection and lack of safe access to services.

This paper investigates the dimensions of sexual and gender-based violence against Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Assessments conducted by local and international organisations revealed the magnitude and impact of the Syrian crisis on displaced Syrians in Lebanon. Some of the main issues identified by these assessments include overcrowding, inadequate access to basic services, rising rent and food prices, and competition for the limited work opportunities. The assessments also detail the vulnerabilities of Syrian women and girls, including rape, assault, intimate partner violence and survival sex.

The following recommendations are presented:

  • Increase the number of safe spaces for women, men, boys and girls
  • Organise mass distribution of educational protection messages for women and men
  • Build the capacity of care providers in clinical care for survivors of sexual assault, gender-based violence case management, and caring for child survivors.
  • Conduct community safety audits to further assess the security situation in relevant areas. 
  • Sensitise and engage relevant community stakeholders and actors in the security sector to install appropriate gender-sensitive security measures, including mechanisms to control the proliferation of small-arms.
  • Work to ensure all actors engaged in the delivery of aid receive training on gender equity, the elimination of violence against women and minimum ethical standards in aid delivery, and aim to meet standard operating principles. 
  • Ensure all aid agencies adhere to the principle of zero tolerance of sexual violence and exploitation, establish mechanisms for reporting such incidents, and act accordingly when incidents are observed or reported.
  • Establish confidential and trusted mechanisms for tracking and reporting incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse during aid delivery, and inform Syrian women and girls about the existence of such mechanisms.
  • Provide awareness sessions on GBV affecting male youth to staff of aid organisations and start support group sessions for male youth and boys
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