This publication highlights the progress of the Gender and Sexuality Programme of the Refugee Law Project for the last 6 months (September 2013 – April 2014). It brings to front key issues that the Refugee Law Project has been working on regarding Gender and Sexuality in forced migration, analyses how the objectives of the Gender and Sexuality Programme have been implemented, and highlights key achievements. In this issue, you will see key outcomes, results and impacts of our best practices on Gender and Sexuality, an account of our successes presented with pictures, examples of key developments and quotes. This issue largely presents our work on conflict related sexual violence as well as violence in times of ‘peace’.
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Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We wish to share with you our most recent accomplishment under our Gender & Sexuality Programme from 23rd September 2013 to 23rd April 2014 (6 months) with regard to sexual and gender based violence amongst refugees and forced migrants, and to raise awareness of the serious impacts that the current suspension of activities with refugees is having on some of our most vulnerable clients.
As many of you will now be aware, the Government of Uganda suspended Refugee Law Project from working with refugees in Kampala and within the settlements on allegations of promoting homosexuality. These suspensions follow the passing into law of the Anti-Homosexuality Act on 24 February 2014.
While RLP considers such allegations baseless and unlawful, we are currently in discussion with Government on this suspension. We politely request that, whatever the comments or claims made in newspapers such as the Red Pepper or on radio stations, these discussions between the Government and Refugee Law Project should be permitted to follow their due course without undue interference or distortion.
To provide a taste of the contents of the report, we are proud to inform you that in the last six months alone, Refugee Law Project’s Gender & Sexuality Programme has:
i. Screened 1237 refugees for experiences of sexual violence Identified 304 new cases requiring treatment Helped 87 clients who reported sexual violence to access Post-Exposure Prophylaxis within 72 hours of the incident Assisted 309 survivors to connect with and join support groups that ensure peer support and the rebuilding of social relationships Trained 90 Prison officers in 4 Prison trainings on refugee-related SGBV response.
ii. Trained 128 Police officers in 4 Police trainings (Wandegeya, Central Police Station, Old Kampala and Kabalye Police training school in Masindi) on refugee-related SGBV response Made 91 legal referrals to police, resulting in eight cases reaching prosecution level
iii. Made 827 medical referrals to Governmental and Private medical facilities Please note that these figures refer specifically to the work of one of our four programmes. The work of the Access to Justice Programme and that of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing are not reported on here, but have also been suspended, leaving all of our more than 3000 registered clients without access to the support that we have been building up ever since RLP opened its doors in 1999. We trust you will join us in hoping that the current situation will be speedily resolved, so that we can quickly resume full operations in the best interests of the refugee population, and in thanking our donors for their continued support. Should you be attending the Global Summit on Ending Sexual Violence, which is taking place in London from 10-13 June next week, please do join Refugee Law Project in any of our several sessions in the Fringe events (Tuesday 10th and Thursday 12th), or listen to Dr Chris Dolan’s presentation at the Experts Panel on Sexual Violence against Men & Boys on Wednesday 11th from 14.30 – 16.00. For further information please do not hesitate to contact
Refugee Law Project