Accountability: We are accountable, liable or answerable to our stakeholders, including refugees/IDPs, donors and partners. Our accountability includes fulfilling our commitments, not promising things we cannot achieve, ensuring that displaced persons understand who we are and what we do, and are kept informed of our work following assessments.
Adolescents/ Young People/Youth:
Adolescents are between the ages of 10 and 19. Adolescence is the time of transition from childhood to adulthood.
Young people: People between the ages of 10 and 24, as defined by the UN Population Fund and WHO—the most widely accepted definition.
Youth: A stage of life marking the transition from childhood to adulthood (physical, mental and social development), and characterized by uncertainty, change and challenge. The United Nations General Assembly defines youth as between the ages of 15 and 24, but the definition of youth can vary across cultures and from setting to setting.
The Women's Refugee Commission uses for the terms adolescence/adolescents, youth and young people interchangeably.
Advocacy: Advocacy is the deliberate process of speaking out on issues of concern in order to exert some influence on behalf of ideas or persons. The Women’s Refugee Commission speaks out on issues of concern to refugee and displaced women, children and adolescents, who have a critical perspective in bringing about change but often do not have access to governments and policy makers. It also provides opportunities for refugee women and youth to speak for themselves through briefings, testimony, participation in field assessments and international conferences. Staff and board members carry out an active program of advocacy, making recommendations on how to improve assistance to refugee women and children to policy makers in the United States and other governments, UN agencies, and NGOs.
Conflict-affected: A country, state, population, etc., that is affected by war (between or within states), revolution, persecution.
Gender-Based Violence (GBV): Gender-based violence is any harm enacted against a person's will that is the result of power imbalances that exploit distinctions between males and females. Violence may be physical, sexual, psychological, economic or socio-cultural, perpetrated in private or in public settings. Although not exclusive to women and girls, GBV principally affects them across all cultures. GBV can occur throughout a woman's lifecycle, from early childhood marriage and genital mutilation, to sexual abuse, domestic violence, legal discrimination and exploitation.
Vulnerability to gender-based violence increases during conflict. Forms of GBV that can occur during conflict and its aftermath include: Sexual abuse and exploitation; domestic violence; trafficking; forced impregnation or sterilization; forced marriage; forced prostitution; forced recruitment; and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation or early marriage.
The Women’s Refugee Commission advocates for the protection, prevention, and health care for survivors of gender-based violence in all targeted settings. The Women’s Refugee Commission also works to reduce vulnerability to gender based violence through our Fuel and Firewood initiative. By promoting alternative fuel sources for cooking, displaced women and girls will no longer have to risk rape by leaving protected areas to collect firewood.
Humanitarian actors: Humanitarian actors are those who work or are involved in the humanitarian service sector (local and international NGOS, the UN and donor countries), providing relief in emergencies and protracted displacement situations. We generally use the term for field workers and staff with field-based workers rather than advocates. Although in certain situations the military provides emergency relief, members of the military are NOT humanitarian actors.
Internally displaced Person (IDP): A person who has been forced to flee his/her home because of war or fear of persecution, but remains inside his/her home country. IDPs remain legally under the protection of national authorities of their country of habitual residence. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement remind national authorities and other relevant actors of their responsibility to ensure that IDPs’ rights are respected and fulfilled, despite the vulnerability generated by their displacement.
Livelihoods: Means of earning a living; source of income. In refugee and internally displaced person (IDP) contexts, livelihoods cover the range of activities and programs that work toward and enhance self-reliance including: non-formal education, vocational and skills training programs, income generation activities, food for work programs, apprenticeship placement projects, micro-credit schemes, agriculture programs, business start up programs, seeds and tools projects, animal disbursement projects, self-employment and job placement programs. The goal of any livelihoods strategy is to develop self-reliance.
Partners: A person/organization who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor. Our partners include colleague NGOs, UN agencies, local organizations and donors. We partner, for example, through consortia (e.g., the Reproductive Health Response in Conflict Consortium), networks (e.g., International Network on Household Energy in Humanitarian Settings; Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises), Reproductive Health Access, Information, Services in Emergencies (RAISE) and sub-grants given to local organizations.
Post-conflict: The phase of recuperation, peace building and reconstruction following a conflict. The Women’s Refugee Commission focuses on conflict, protracted conflict and post-conflict settings.
Protection: Safeguard and defend the legal rights and the physical and psychosocial health and well-being of refugees, internally displaced persons, detainees and asylum seekers. The Women’s Refugee Commission works to ensure these populations are safe and that their rights are respected according to human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.
Refugee: A person who has fled his/her home country because of war or persecution. A refugee has crossed an international border and has sought safety in another country. Usually, refugees are under the care of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Reproductive Health: According to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, Reproductive health is a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and its functions and processes. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.” The Women’s Refugee Commission defines reproductive health to comprise four pillars: maternal newborn health, family planning, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, and gender-based violence; with adolescents cross-cutting.
Stakeholder: A person, group, organization or system that affects or can be affected by an organization's actions. A person or group that has an investment, share or interest in something, as a business or industry. Women's Refugee Commission stakeholders are refugee/IDP/returnee and asylum-seeking women, children and young people; staff; board & commissioners; donors (individuals and foundations); government bodies that have responsibilities for refugees, IDPs, asylum-seekers; humanitarian agencies; and local and international NGOs.
Young People (see Adolescents/Young People/Youth, above)
Youth (see Adolescents/Young People/Youth, above)