|Sexual Violence against Refugees - Guidelines on Prevention and Response (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) / Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR), 1995, 106 p.)|
|Chapter 2 - PREVENTIVE MEASURES|
Calls upon States and UNHCR... to encourage the participation of refugee women as well as men in decisions relating to their voluntary repatriation or other durable solutions;
Executive Committee Conclusion No. 73 (XLIV) (1993), paragraph (c)
Refugee Protection and Sexual Violence
UNHCR voluntary repatriation programmes should attempt to combat the problem of sexual violence by taking the following steps:
· Promote and implement family reunification in the pre-repatriation stage.
· Ensure that families, including extended families, can travel as a unit. The same applies for groups of refugees, who have developed a social network in the camp (e.g. groups of female-headed households and unaccompanied women) who wish to return to the same destination. This could be ensured by linking together voluntary repatriation forms for joint travel.
· Ensure that refugee women, on an equal basis with refugee men, are provided with a viable opportunity to declare individually their desire to return or opt out of a voluntary repatriation, and have equal access to information on which to base their decision.
· Ensure the physical safety of areas, such as reception centres and transit camps and their facilities, by adopting relevant measures suggested under Design and location of refugee camps in 2.1(a) above on page 12.
· Ensure that protection activities focused on returnees give high priority to assessing the safety of returnee women. Special attention should be paid to especially vulnerable individuals, for example the disabled, pregnant women and unaccompanied minors, by identifying them early in repatriation planning and developing specific procedures to transport and receive them.
· Ensure that protection and field officers monitoring the return have a thorough knowledge of the UNHCR Guidelines on the Protection of Refugee Women and these Guidelines.