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Commission Makes Recommendations to Address Gender-Based Violence in Camps
At the urging of a number of organizations working with displaced women in Haiti, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) recently issued groundbreaking recommendations to the government of Haiti to address and prevent gender-based violence (GBV) in displacement camps.
KOFAVIV (Komisyon Fanm Viktim pou Viktim, which translates to the Commission of Women Victims for Victims), a UUSC partner, has been courageously confronting the growing prevalence of sexual violence in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. Donations to the UUSC/UUSA Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund have supported KOFAVIV's services to survivors of violence, which includes training GBV agents to work in the camps and conducting education and awareness activities. They have also been at the forefront of documenting cases of GBV and the fight to protect survivors.
In coalition with other Haitian organizations protecting women from GBV, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and legal organizations, this work has resulted in an unprecedented set of recommendations to the Haitian government from the IACHR.
The IACHR granted the following measures:
1. Ensure medical and psychological care is provided in locations available to victims of sexual abuse of 22 camps for those internally displaced. This precautionary measure decision, in particular, ensures that there be:
a. privacy during examinations;
b. availability of female medical staff members, with a cultural sensitivity and experience with victims of violence sexual;
c. issuance of medical certificates;
d. HIV prophylaxis, and;
e. emergency contraception.
2. Implement effective security measures in the 22 camps, in particular, provide street lighting, an adequate patrolling in and around the camps, and a greater number of security forces patrolling in women and in police around the camps;
3. Ensure that public officials responsible for responding to incidents of sexual violence receive training enabling them to respond adequately to complaints of sexual violence and to adopt safety measures;
4. Establish special units within the police and the Ministry Public investigating cases of rape and other forms of violence against women and girls, and;
5. Ensure that grassroots women's groups have full participation and leadership in planning and implementing policies and practices to combat and prevention of sexual violence and other forms of violence in the camps.