Tuesday, 14 February 2006

"Sexual and Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response Project (SGBV)" Activities




A Sexual and Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response Project (SGBV) was initiated by UNHCR Belgrade towards the end of 2004, with the main goal of providing protection to victims of such violence among the refugee and IDP population, as well as to raise awareness on the issue among all relevant institutions that provide assistance and protection. Although the full scale of SGBV among this population category in Serbia and Montenegro is unknown, the level of vulnerability, sustained trauma and marginalized position in society must be taken into consideration by all actors involved, requiring a special approach when dealing with victims of SGBV among this population group.

UNHCR is the leading organization that provides protection and assistance to victims of SGBV among the refugee and IDP population, and achieves this role through direct action as well as through implementing partners.

In 2006, UNHCR entrusted this Project to Praxis, a non-governmental organization which will, in addition to the above-mentioned activities, provide in-court representation to SGBV victims.

If you come across any information regarding possible victims of SGBV, do not hesitate to contact either UNHCR or Praxis for counsel or assistance.

As part of the raising awareness campaign, Praxis will in 2006 organize six regional training sessions for beneficiaries and representatives of all relevant institutions dealing with SGBV victims. Each training session will be carried out by two highly experienced psychologists, experts who have performed numerous training sessions on the subject, and will include several municipalities thus covering a larger region and enabling a larger number of participants to benefit from the project.

Apart from defining SGBV and understanding it as a violation of human rights, it is important to acknowledge it as a social problem which requires the involvement of a number of institutions, each with a specific role and defined procedure. Having in mind the importance of a multisectoral approach to this issue, representatives from various spheres will be invited to take part and exchange useful information: members of the Ministry of Interior, judiciary, Social Welfare Centers, local health and educational institutions, the Red Cross, humanitarian organizations and NGOs, Roma, as well as refugees and IDPs and organizations that provide protection to these population groups.

With the existing need for raising awareness on SGBV, two round tables will also be organized by Praxis in 2006, targeting professionals that deal with SGBV and provide protection to victims of such violence. The goal is to raise awareness among all actors involved and shape a prevention strategy, emphasizing the particular vulnerability and specific needs of the refugee and IDP population.





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