Supporting refugee-survivors of GBV with communication disability

Organisation: Manchester Metropolitan University

Partners: UNHCR Rwanda; Communicability Global; Institute for Human-centred Design

Location: Rwanda

Type of grant: GBV

Status: Completed

  • kigali workshop


MMU, UNHCR and CG will develop a consortium of organisations to work together, to better understand and describe the nature and size of the challenges of supporting GBV-survivors with communication disabilities, in refugee contexts, in Rwanda.

What humanitarian need is being addressed?

By its nature, having a communication disability makes the reporting of GBV challenging or impossible. UNHCR and other humanitarian stakeholders in Rwanda have identified an urgent need for social models of support that involve sensitising and training front-line workers to increase awareness of, and sensitivity to, the particular issues

facing GBV survivors who have with communication disabilities in reporting, accessing legal redress and receiving psychosocial/medical and safety support. In order to achieve this aim, both the challenges experienced by GBV survivors who have a communication disability, and the challenges of workers to support them, need to be more fully understood.

What is the innovative solution and how will it improve existing humanitarian practice?

This project has potential to support the further understanding of the intersectional nature of GBV and the multifaceted vulnerability of persons with intersecting inequalities including those arising from communication disability. The relative stability of the Rwandan context provides a good opportunity for exploration, and the results of the analysis may be applied further afield. The project will build a consortium of key stakeholders who have the willingness and capacity to take this work forward. The project will provide the necessary knowledge and understanding to facilitate the next stage of work – which will be to design resources to train front line workers to better support GBV survivors who have a communication disability.

Expected Outcomes

Following field visits, interviews with key service-providers and carers of people with communication disability and a stakeholder workshop, the following outputs will be produced: * a review of literature on GBV, communication disability and related topics; * the development of a consortium of relevant stakeholders for future project design and implementation; * recommendations to develop adequate responses to ensure that persons with communication disabilities are able to disclose instances of GBV and to benefit from equitable access to appropriate safety plans, psychosocial and medical services, thereby exercising their right to legal redress and support.


Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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