Sierra Leone: Reparations Program for Victims of Sexual Violence
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 9:55 AM


For the first time in history, war reparations are being directed towards women as a means to address the critical needs of victims of sexual violence.  An initiative sponsored by the German government is allowing the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to work in partnership with the Sierra Leone Reparations Program (SLRP) to assist women who suffered brutal forms of violence during the country’s long-running civil war, which ended in 2002.

The IOM provides both technical assistance and expertise to SLRP and aims to directly assist over 600 women by providing trauma counseling, vocational training, and cash allowances to help set up income-generating opportunities.  Through these activities, IOM hopes to see these victimized women begin to recover and escape the detrimental stigmas and feelings of abandonment and neglect that often follow acts of sexual violence. 

Establishing and continuing the efforts of the SLRP has been difficult.  In its beginning stages, defining the worst atrocities and the most vulnerable victims from the conflict proved to be a complex task.  However, the continuation of the SLRP now rests in its ability to maintain funding.  Despite its funding from the German government, it is believed that an additional eight million USD will be necessary in order to successfully carry out the needed assistance to all victims of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war. 

Compiled from: "IOM Provides Technical Assistance to Reparations Programme for Victims of Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone." International Organization for Migration (23 March 2010).