Women Refugees Endure Violence

April 14, 2017 at 9:04 am

November 6, 216. West of Mosul. A woman is fleeing the war in Entissar Alley. Photo: Reuters

Female refugees experience different types of violence in the refugee camps and most cases remain silent due to traditional influences and tribal settlements.

According to a report conducted by the Human Rights Committee in cooperation with Department of Combating Violence against Women, PAW organization and UNDP, only in the last six months of last year, 60 cases of different types of violence against women have been recorded amongst which there are sexual abuse and aggression.

In the report which was presented on April 12 in Erbil, the statistics and follow-ups of women condition in Baharka Camp in the last six months of 2016 were showcased.

Dler Tariq, who prepared the report, said “they monitor the human rights violation alongside the violence and abuse cases.”

Tariq also told Kirkuknow “the duty of Human Rights Committee is to create cooperation between organizations and centers inside the camps to help the women report any violent case.”

Erbil, April 12, 2017.A report on women condition presented in a seminar. Photo: Farman Sadiq.

According to the report, in the last six months of 2016, seven sexual aggression, two rape cases, eleven physical and thirteen psychological abuse cases have been recorded.

Additionally 6 financially violent cases were recorded in which women were deprived from working, stopped from going outside the camps for work, or their money was taken over by their spouse.

“Women refugee’s condition is very bad, this is mainly due to social reasons. Women are seen second to men, apart from that some families miss a father which is also a problem” Tariq the said.

He also mentioned that “no complaints for the sexual harassment or rape cases have been filed, because all those cases were settled outside the courts”.

The report also presented statistics on social and traditional violence, amongst which are four underage marriage cases, two obligatory divorce, two polygamy and four education deprivation cases.

Parez Satar from PAW organization, who assisted preparing the report, told Kirkuknow that “the strong commitments to the traditional norms, makes it difficult for the women to understand the laws protecting their rights”

Satar added that even though some file complaints however, most of them tend to solve the issues through tribal settlements.

Baharka Camp which is 10km far from Erbil was constructed in 2014 for the refugees. Four thousand refugees mostly from Mosul, Anbar and Diyala live on the camp now, 49% of the population is women, of which 157 are head of their families. However, no woman has any role in running the camp.

Erbil, April 12, 2017. The objective of the seminar was to encourage women to fight for their rights through courts.

Lana Sheikh Mamundi, a captain and the supervisor of combating violence against women committee in Kawrgosik Camp told Kirkuknow that “the condition on women is very bad socially, religiously, psychologically, and physically. There is always beating, sexual aggression and threat of polygamy.”

“Although many workshops and seminars had been conducted, but the violence is yet to be curbed” she added.

“Even though some victims file complaints, however there are barriers from their family and relatives. That is why the number of filed complaints is quite lower than violent case.” Sheikh Mamundi continued

Dler Tariq said “they are working to remove barriers which are causing harsh situation for the women in the camps.”

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