New Report: Syrian Refugees in Northern Iraq Suffer Violence and Harassment in Silence
Thursday, May 8, 2014 9:20 PM

Women refugees from Syria living in camps in the Kurdistan region of Iraq suffer high rates of domestic violence, assault, harassment and pressure to sell sex both in and outside of refugee camps. According a recent report released by UN Women, these women suffer in “silence,” often in “suffocating” refugee tents, because they have no safe outlets to report violence, and perpetrators are rarely held accountable. Shelter from domestic abuse is not available.

According to UN Women, the women surveyed in the report say that, “often there is no one to speak to, no one who can take action.” Men also reported fearing for the safety of wives and daughters. The report recommends strengthening laws in Kurdistan to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual exploitation of women and girls in the camps, and training security forces to better protect vulnerable women and girls from violence. It also recommends that the government and NGOs provide more economic opportunities for camp residents, particularly women, and offer support services for victims of violence.

Compiled from: AI-Tuwaijri, Sameera, ‘We just keep silent’: Gender-based violence amongst Kurd refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan, The Kurdistan Tribune (April 28, 2014); Press Release: "We Just Keep Silent": A report on gender-based violence among Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, UN Women (April 27, 2014)