Gender-based Violence & Urban Settings

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Today more than half of all refugees live in cities, rather than the camp settings that have historically been the epicenter of humanitarian response. Although cities afford more opportunities for refugees and their families, they also present a host of new risks of violence. GBV against urban refugees takes different forms—common examples are sexual violence perpetrated by landlords, neighbors, and/or employers. Attackers often target refugees because they assume such violence will go unreported, since refugees face many barriers to accessing legal services.

Preventing and responding to GBV in urban settings requires new ways supporting refugees’ resilience. It requires new protection strategies and new partnerships with local actors. GBV risks in cities are diverse, so tailored approaches for different groups are critical. Among the groups especially at-risk are: women; adolescent girls and boys; LGBTI individuals; persons with disabilities; and refugees engaged in sex work.

We are committed to improving humanitarian response for urban refugees, to ensure they can live safe, full lives in cities and their rights are protected.