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Tools for » UNA060 GBV One-stop response c
Project ID:00113513Description:UNA060 GBV One-stop response c
Fund:
UN Action Agst Sexual Violence
Start Date *: 18 Dec 2018
Theme:
UN Action Against Sexual Viole
End Date*: 31 Dec 2019
Country: United Nations Project Status: On Going
  Participating Organization:   Multiple
About

UNA060 One Stop Centre: Rolling Out Provision of Integrated Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Response Services in South Sudan

 

The humanitarian impact of the crisis in South Sudan continues to worsen and deepen. The needs continue to outstrip available resources. According to OCHA, an estimated 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Among them, 1.8 million are women of reproductive age in dire need of essential life-saving RH and GBV services and information. As conditions of violence and insecurity are sustained, sexual violence --has become part of the reality of the affected population.

The conflict has led to massive displacement and a breakdown of law and order. Rape and other sexual violence are occurring during flight, attacks and when women leave the camps. As of end of July 2018, South Sudan recorded a total of 1.9 million IDPs of which 168,438 are found in Juba, while upper Nile hosts 284, 397. The current crisis has overstretched existing services of state ministry and humanitarian partners to respond adequately and timely to needs of women and girls. IDPs are both in camps and non-camp locations -  living conditions continue to be overcrowded, with temporary shelters and lack of access to basic social services which increases risks to violence, including sexual violence.

The situation for women and girls affected by conflict and displacement

Gender-Based Violence (GBV), including sexual violence, is widespread in South Sudan and was employed as a weapon of war, during the hostilities that erupted in Juba in July 2016, with marked political and ethnic undertones[1]. Even in displacement settings, threats and risks of GBV against women and girls, particularly rape and child marriages and forced marriage persist. During inter-communal fights and cattle raids, women are abducted and raped, just as during the armed conflict. Some of the key drivers of GBV are gender inequality, patriarchy, on-going conflict, displacements, inter-communal fighting, fragile community support systems and weak protection mechanisms, including limited availability and accessibility to basic health and social services, particularly for women and girls. The 2017 International Rescue Committee study in three states confirms that GBV is pervasive in conflict affected areas in South Sudan. The report shows that 65 per cent of women and girls have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, while 33 per cent of women in these areas reported having experienced sexual violence from a non-partner. Many of the incidents were directly related to raids, displacements or abduction. This analysis is corroborated with an IOM Survey (2017), which revealed that women in four out of the five counties surveyed consider the risk of sexual violence as a primary barrier to return to their homes; yet, critical life-saving services and reporting mechanisms are not immediately available to survivors in many of the affected areas. Again, several social, cultural and economic determinants contribute to the exclusion of and access to (and utilization) of GBV survivors’ essential services package (legal, psychosocial and health). Within many of the communities, women walk very long distances to seek essential services, including GBV services, which further expose them to risks of GBV. Lack of knowledge on where to access these services and limited availability of GBV providers pose other challenges, as well as the shortage of qualified health and specialized personnel.

The dramatic increase in GBV will leave a lasting legacy not only on individual survivors, but also on entire communities. Although rule of law institutions have data about reported incidents on gender-based violence or domestic violence, there have been several unreported incidents occurring within the patriarchal community and household systems of South Sudanese ethnic groups. Often, women are disempowered and deprived of their rights, voice and agency, which consequently increases their vulnerability. Moreover, women are often unaware of their rights, and often lack legal protection and access to mechanisms by which their grievances can be remedied.

Where women are not able to claim their rights and obtain recourse for violations of their rights, establishing effective, efficient and fair justice systems is needed, for example, to ensure that women are able to seek justice and secure redress.

According to the UNFPA Health facility gender and GBV assessment (2017), for those survivors that do report violence, the health facility is one of the preferred entry points to access care. This is also evident in the 2017 GBVIMS report, which showed that the main preferred entry point for GBV survivors are the health facilities. Moreover, the ongoing conflict has seen looting and destruction of healthcare facilities and targeted attacks on health workers, which continue to affect access to critical life-saving specialized services such as Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) and psychosocial support, among others (HNO 2018). It is therefore essential that capacities for health facilities are strengthened to provide safe, confidential and timely integrated GBV services under the continuum approach that takes into account addressing GBV in both humanitarian and development settings. This will facilitate access and reduce drop-out rates due to referrals. Community awareness on availability of such services need to be increased. To obtain optimal and holistic response to GBV, it is critical to link health facilities with justice sector responses including the provision of legal advice and representation to survivors, and strengthening capacities regarding gender sensitive investigation and prosecution of GBV related crimes. This includes the strengthening the competencies of institutions providing investigating, prosecutorial, judicial and legal aid services.

It is against this background that UNFPA and UNDP, submits this request to scale up the rolling out of the GBV One Stop centre model to more locations in South Sudan - in this case, Malakal in Upper State - to address the increasing needs for integrated GBV services under the continuum approach (health, psycho-social support and legal)-which will be offered under one roof.

 


[1] Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/2018/250) issued on 16 April 2018

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