The Women’s Refugee Commission is undertaking a three-country exploratory study on sexual violence against refugee men and boys, including those with diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
Every year since 2014, tens of thousands of refugees and migrants have traveled the central Mediterranean route to Italy, one of the most active and dangerous migration passageways in the world. Along the way, many experience kidnapping, exploitation, extortion, and enslavement. Large numbers die in the desert, are confined to hellish detention centers in Libya, or drown at sea. Sexual violence against refugee and migrant women and girls is rampant throughout the route. Women and girls also face sexual violence, including sexual exploitation and trafficking, in Italy. Less is known about the men and boys who undertake this journey. These knowledge gaps are of concern, given that an estimated 87.5 percent of refugees and migrants who have entered Italy via the central Mediterranean route since 2016 are men and boys, the latter of whom are largely unaccompanied.
The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) conducted a qualitative exploratory study to examine the nature and characteristics of sexual violence perpetrated against refugee and migrant men and boys traveling the central Mediterranean route to Italy. We also looked at intersections with violence against women and girls. In October 2018, WRC undertook fieldwork in Rome and Sicily.
The findings and recommendations in this report aim to help international and national humanitarian agencies improve protection mechanisms and strengthen services for at-risk men and boys and male sexual violence survivors in Italy.
Read more about our work with sexual violence against men and boys.