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ABC Libya on Gender 2011

Experience from past conflicts reveals that important differences between men and women often go unrecognised by the humanitarian community. In the midst of the urgent humanitarian response, the particular protection and assistance needs of women and men differ. The ability to access food, shelter, health, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities are different for men and women. Failing to address the differentiated needs of men, women, boys and girls can increase disparities between women and men, and further marginalize vulnerable groups. Taking into account the different needs of women, girls, boys and men makes our humanitarian response more effective and equitable.

Take these 3 immediate actions to ensure that women, girls, boys and men get access to and benefit from humanitarian response:

Refugees face routine sexual violence in Libyan detention centres – report

Refugees and  migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa are being subjected to horrific and routine sexual violence in Libyan detention centres, a survey has found.

Sarah Chynoweth, the lead researcher on the report, said: “Profoundly cruel and brutal sexual violence and torture are perpetrated in official detention centers and clandestine prisons, during random stops and checkpoints, and in the context of forced labor and enslavement. The fact that refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean are intercepted and forced back into this violence is untenable.”

Libya has over 670,000 migrants according to UNHCR

Radio clip about WRC's new report on sexual violence against men and boys traveling the Central Mediterranean route to Europe starts at 18:30 minutes.

More work to do to empower refugees: UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Kelly Clements

In March, the Women’s Refugee Commission published a report about widespread sexual violence, exploitation and torture in Libya. Other agencies, including the German Foreign Office, have confirmed that conditions in some detention centers in Libya resemble "concentration-camp-like conditions." 

Report Chronicles Killings and Sexual Violence in EU-funded Libyan Refugee Detention Centers

The horrific violence, torture and dehumanization faced by the refugees fleeing to Europe in detention centers in Libya has been documented with disturbing details in a recent report. The documentwas released by the Women's Refugee Commission last week. The security personnel are trained and funded in millions by the European Union (EU) to stop the refugees from crossing the Mediterranean.

Guilty of torture and rape by association – Europeʹs dirty secret

Employees of the Women's Refugee Commission interviewed survivors in Italy and, among other sources, spoke with crews of rescue ships. "On their journey through the desert, many refugees are kidnapped by human traffickers and armed groups or taken to official prisons," Sarah Chynoweth, the study's author, explained. She confirmed that violence, including sexual torture, is common in these camps: "It is filmed in order to put pressure on families to send money for their relatives' release. Those who cannot pay are re-sold or murdered."

WORLD Asylum for sale: Male refugees victimized by sexual violence say officials wanted bribes to help

It is not clear how many male refugees worldwide have been victims of sexual violence, though experts say the numbers are certainly high. Stigma and a lack of support often stop men from reporting what they have been through. A recent report by the Women's Refugee Commission listed sexual violence as a reason males leave their home countries to try and reach Europe, and found it was also "commonplace" against boys and men along smuggling routes in North Africa.

African, Syrian migrants in crosshairs of Libya war

A study last month by the Women’s Refugee Commission, a U.S.-based charity, said refugees and migrants trying to reach Italy through Libya were victims of horrific sexual violence.

The abuse was commonplace along routes through North Africa: at border crossings and check points, during random stops by armed groups, and when migrants were kidnapped and held for ransom, said the report, titled “More Than One Million Pains”.