|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|
If the deterrent measures set out above are implemented, efforts to prevent sexual violence are a relatively inexpensive exercise relying on the cost-effective and equitable distribution of goods and services, the development or reinforcement of existing protection mechanisms, and most importantly, the involvement of the refugee community itself in providing protection to its members. The following preventive steps involve recruitment and deployment of staff.
a) Recruitment of female staff
· Ensure a gender balance among recruitment of professional staff at all levels by employing greater numbers of female protection officers, field interpreters, doctors, health workers and counsellors.
b) Presence of female protection officers
· Ensure in particular the presence of at least one well-trained female protection or field officer per field office, and more in areas where refugee women are known to have particular protection problems.
· Place trained international staff, including female staff, in key field locations such as areas which are major crossing points for refugees, reception centres, camps and returnee monitoring positions.
c) Visibility in the field
· UNHCR protection and field staff should make themselves visible in the field and meet with refugee women regularly to gain first-hand information on protection problems. Their presence and interest may provide a sense of security and reassurance among the female population and thus encourage them to speak up and seek assistance when their rights are violated.
· In areas where there are no principal crossing points, or in less frequented border areas, roving protection/field officers should be deployed.
d) Close links with traditional birth attendants
· Female medical and/or protection staff should establish and maintain close links with traditional birth attendants and other refugee health workers, who can be a valuable source of information on the incidence of sexual violence as well as providing a channel for disseminating relevant information to women in the community.