SGBV prevention services for refugees with communication disability

Organisation: Manchester Metropolitan University

Partners: UNHCR Rwanda and Communicability Global

Location: Rwanda

Type of grant: Core – recognition

Status: Ongoing

  • 6. Training UNHCR, ARC and Humanity and Inclusion staff on supporting refugees with communication disability Credit: Communicability Global

  • Rwandan Refugee Camp Credit: Communicability Global

  • Kigali city scape Credit: Communicability Global

  • Project team. From Left: Helen Barrett, Communicability Global; Julie Marshall, MMU; Sidra Anwar, UNHCR; Oksana Olifirovych, UNHCR


MMU, UNHCR Rwanda and CG are investigating the service access, and community protection, needs of refugees with communication disabilities in Rwanda, in relation to SGBV prevention and response mechanisms.

What is the humanitarian need?

People with disabilities (PWDs) are under-identified in humanitarian contexts and many fail to access the support they need. Those who are identified often have visible impairments. Up to 50% of PWD may have a communication disability (CD) and many go unidentified.

Refugees are acknowledged to be at higher risk of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) than others in a community. Having a CD likely makes the reporting of SGBV challenging or impossible. There is extremely limited published reporting of Sexual and Reproductive Health Education (SRHE) and support services specifically adapted for refugee-survivors of GBV with CD.

What is the innovative solution?

In relation to responses to GBV, and SRHE for People with Communication Disabilities in Rwandan refugee camps, we will document current provision, identify good practice and challenges and make recommendations for possible ways forward. As this is a recognition stage project, the end point will be documenting potential solutions to take forward into the next stage of HIF applications.

What are the expected outcomes?

Evidence of the needs and wishes of refugees with CD, their families, and their SRHE and SGBV service providers in relation to accessible and responsive SGBV prevention and support in their communities, for use in planning responsive and accessible services in the future. We will also produce a literature review on the global practice for inclusive sexual and reproductive health education, in relation to refugees with CD.

Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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