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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.

Latest Updates

A Call To Action

26 Mar 2019

In their final blog, the project team share findings from their consultations with various national and local disability service providers, as well as stakeholder commitments following these findings.


The Voices of Experience

15 Mar 2019

In order to ensure they have a broad understanding of SRHE and sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response services; MMU have carried out consultations with service providers and service users, as well as a literature review.


Prevention is better than a cure

18 Sept 2018

The old adage is still as popular as ever, because it generally holds true. In their 2016 project, the project team found 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).


Related Resources

Briefing Note Gender-based Violence, Inclusion of People with Disabilities and Older People

Understanding the need for SGBV prevention/support and SRHE services, for refugees with Communication Disabilities in Rwanda- a collaborative consultation

Related Projects

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