IOM Tackles Gender Violence and Trafficking in Central African Republic

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

Central African Republic - The Central African Republic (CAR) remains in a complex crisis, where a continuous erosion of the rule of law and porous borders have resulted in a lack of protection for displaced and vulnerable people, together with increased exposure to human trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Based on a needs assessments carried out by the Protection Cluster, and its presence in communities, IOM has been working with the UN police (UNPOL) to build the capacity of the security forces, raise awareness of the issues in communities and provide direct assistance to survivors and individuals at-risk. The projects are funded by the Governments of Canada and Germany.

A ‘training of trainers’ capacity building manual has been developed for law enforcement officials on how to manage SGBV cases. It was developed with the collaboration of a working group including the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, national police and gendarmerie, civil society actors and the main actors of the SGBV Sub-cluster.

The training manual provides police and gendarmerie with the tools to use a survivor-centred approach in their investigations. It also educates security forces on the need for sensitivity, confidentiality, non-discrimination and respect for the rights, dignity and wishes of SGBV survivors.

Using the training manual, IOM conducted two training of trainers, initially for UNPOL officers, and then for 45 police and gendarmerie officers, to improve the response and management of SGBV cases. The trainees are now expected to roll out the training across the national security forces countrywide.

IOM will now work with UNPOL to train justice and security sector officials in the identification of trafficking in persons (TIP) along the country’s borders. The trainings are designed to reinforce the existing referral system between the national police and gendarmerie on the one hand, and humanitarian actors working with SGBV and TIP victims on the other hand.

At the same time as training the security forces, IOM worked with the mayors of five Bangui districts (3rd, 4th, 5th, Bimbo and Bégoua), including IDP communities, to identify 100 peer educators to be trained in community-level SGBV awareness-raising. The four-week training course was designed to develop a community-based peer educator mechanism to raise awareness of SGBV.

IOM has also provided direct assistance to at-risk households identified in communities known for high prevalence of SGBV through provision of housing kits and the installation of 50 solar-powered street lights. Community members were given responsibility for one or more solar lights in the vicinity of their house.

IOM will continue to protect internally-displaced people in CAR with a new German government-funded project launched this month designed to strengthen national awareness and response capacities to combat trafficking and other forms of exploitation of vulnerable migrants, IDPs and host communities affected by the crisis.

The project will re-activate, adjust and strengthen formerly existing mechanisms to address trafficking phenomena and other exploitative practices targeting vulnerable migrants, IDPs and at-risk communities. Additionally, it will provide training for justice and security officials and direct assistance to identified victims of trafficking.

“Providing training on the prevention of SGBV for our youth will reinforce social cohesion in our communities and ultimately will help rebuild the country” said Atahirou Bala Dodo, Mayor of Bangui’s 3rd district.

For further information, please contact Clément Hamon at IOM CAR, Tel+236 75116042, Email: