Sites of vulnerability for refugees and migrants: Seeking safety, finding terror - Refugee women and girls at heightened risk of rape and sexual violence

UTS Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre
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Refugee woman and girls face risks of rape and sexual violence not only during the height of armed conflict but at every stage of the refugee journey. Women and girls are routinely raped by border guards as they try to cross international borders and in detention and urban settings in countries of asylum. Sadly for many women at risk these dangers and human rights abuses continue in so called sites of safety including in refugee camps and in countries of resettlement. Since February 2002 Linda has undertaken research with refugee women in camps and urban areas in East and North Africa, India, Thailand, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in order to better understand the extent and impact of this problem and to work with refugee women and UNHCR staff to find solutions. She will discuss the the multiple sites in which refugee women and girls experience rape and sexual violence and the compounding impacts of multiple experiences of abuse including social exclusion, babies of rape. She will also explore the way in which shame, stigma, social exclusion, xenophobia, racial and cultural stereotyping can intersect to increase women and girls risks of further incidents of rape and sexual violence.
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