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Gender Based Violence Risk Assessment for the Emirati-Jordanian Camp (September 2021)

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Executive Summary

The present report focuses on the findings and recommendations of the GBV risk assessment conducted in the Emirati Jordanian Camp (EJC), from May to August 2021. The overall aim of the assessment was to gain a better understanding of the GBV risks faced by Syrian refugee women, girls, men and boys and vulnerable groups in the EJC, and to provide recommendations on areas where GBV response and overall humanitarian response need to be enhanced in the camp. It was found that residents of the EJC reportedly live a sheltered life within the camp’s premises, with guaranteed access to basic needs such as shelter, food, health and education. The EJC is jointly managed by the UAE Red Crescent and the Jordanian authorities through the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate (SRAD), in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and public areas within the camp are reportedly safe for its female and male residents. However, GBV is present, disproportionately affecting women and girls and subjecting them to risk and unsafety within their own homes. Women and girls mostly face GBV at the hands of partners and family members.

The risk assessment was coordinated by IOM and conducted by the members of the GBV/Child Protection sub-working group in Al Azraq who are actors within the EJC. It is to be noted that the EJC is under the coordination mechanism of Al Azraq camp. The GBV risk assessment followed a qualitative methodology using community consultations through key informant interviews and focused group discussions. The present report highlights the main findings and recommendations, through six main parts: an introduction and context overview; a review of the methodology, and the identified GBV Risks in the EJC, an overview of GBV services in the EJC, and recommendations for the way forward.

The risk assessment found a high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) and family violence (physical, emotional, economic violence and abuse in the context of family or intimate partner relationships) within the camp, in addition to other GBV risks such as early marriage affecting Syrian refugee girls. Sexual harassment mostly of young females in the streets and public places – especially when crowded – was also reported as a risk, mostly faced at the hands of male youth. A major risk within the EJC is the community’s acceptance of GBV as a normal part of family and community life. IPV and family violence incidents are normalized and even expected as part of marriage and family life. there is a noted lack of awareness about GBV in the EJC compared to other camps and urban locations in Jordan.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its related lockdown, movement restrictions and loss of livelihood opportunities led to an increase in violence against women and girls in the EJC – especially IPV and early marriage. Although the standards of caravan space allocated for each family in the EJC is higher than in other camps, caravans reportedly provided a cramped living space especially during lockdown, with many women and girls trapped at home with their abusers. COVID-19 has also intensified pre-existing barriers for women, girls and survivors in general to seek services and support, as many women and girls were unaware that services were still available through online service delivery modalities.

Findings from this risk assessment show that vulnerable groups at heightened risk of GBV in the EJC are: Syrian refugee women and girls in general, especially adolescent girls and young females, women living without men (widowed, separated, divorced, head of household), and women and girls with disabilities.

Regarding available services, the risk assessment found that GBV prevention and response services are available in the EJC. Consulted community members seem to be somewhat aware of these services. Services seem to be accessible and safe. However, challenges regarding coordination between actors within the camp and overall coordination regarding the camp were found. Despite the existence of a referral pathway (Ammali App) many actors were not fully aware of what other services were available at the camp at the time of assessment. Additionally, many barriers in accessing services were identified, primarily originating from unequal gender relations that limit the movement and agency of women and girls: such as keeping women and girls home-bound and preventing them from reaching out for help and support. One major gap in services was found to be the absence of specialized health services including clinical management of rape.

In response to the findings of the GBV risk assessment, detailed recommendations have been highlighted as suggestions drawing from partners and community members. These include recommendations for GBV service providers, recommendations pertaining to coordination and capacity building, and recommendations for donors. The recommendations are included within the final part of the report.