Seeking Protection: Addressing Sexual and Domestic Violence in Tanzania's Refugee Camps
Human Rights Watch
New York, NY: Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch began monitoring the situation of Burundian refugees in the Tanzanian camps in 1997. Late that year, we received reports that human rights abuses, particularly sexual violence, were occurring at high rates in the camps, and that the responses of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (unhcr) and the Tanzanian government to sexual violence were inadequate. Human Rights Watch undertook a first mission to the Tanzanian refugee camps in May and June 1998. Our purposes were to obtain firsthand information about human rights violations, including sexual and other gender-based violence against refugees residing in those camps; and to remind the relevant authorities of their responsibility to ensure that perpetrators of such abuses must be held to account for their actions. Ten years later, UNHCR has come a long way in their response and assessment of this situation and they have pin-pointed several important lessons that can be drawn from the Tanzania case.