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.
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.
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.
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.
The old adage is still as popular as ever, because it generally holds true. Our first project, funded by the HIF in 2016, looked at how refugees with communication disabilities, who are survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), access support services such as health, protection, psychosocial and legal support, in Rwanda. One of the things we found then, was that participants were concerned that refugees with communication disabilities were not only targeted for abuse, due in part to their reduced ability to report incidents, but also because they are frequently excluded from SGBV prevention services and activities, such as sexual and reproductive health education (SRHE).View
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