UN and Somalia agreed to avert Sexual Violence Crimes, Japan Donated Solar Lanterns Machine to Reduce GBV

Wonderful, the Federal Government of Somalia was finally endorsed to heal the prolonged Somalia’s women’s tear in order to reduce and rid off the on going sexual violence. It was February 5, 2013 when a Somali court has sentenced a woman to a year in prison after she accused security forces of raping her and a journalist who interviewed her was also sentenced a year in prison though both released months later when the human rights and press freedom groups made a tremendous campaign for their release. These groups campaign attracted the global eyes and caused the first visit of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura in Somalia from April 2-6, 2013 and finally her visit paved the way on May 7, 2013 signature of a Joint Communiqué on the Prevention of Sexual Violence by the Government of Somalia and the United Nations.

The Joint Communiqué was signed by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for the Federal Republic of Somalia, and by Deputy Secretary-General Eliasson for the United Nations, and was witnessed by Fawzia Yusuf H. Adam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia, and SRSG Bangura.

The Joint Communiqué lists commitments including the vetting of all individuals being integrated into the national security forces to guarantee that they have not committed human rights violations, ensuring the protection of survivors, witnesses and journalists who report on sexual violence, strengthening the protection from sexual violence for women and girls in camps for the internally displaced, ensuring access to services for survivors and encouraging and supporting the work of service providers, strengthening the rule of law, as well as building the capacity of the justice system to prevent and prosecute sexual violence crimes, including through the training of magistrates.

On the other hand, the Somali women’s tear especially for those living in Internally Displaced area’s IDP Camps also marked that the Panasonic Corporation, a Japanese multinational electronics company, has donated Y3,000,000 (USD 31,000) to IOM for a study intended to assess how effective solar lanterns can reduce gender-based violence in Somali displacement camps.

The study on the “Effectiveness and Sustainability of Solar Lanterns in Reducing Insecurity and Gender-based Violence among Internally Displaced Persons in Puntland, Somalia,” will be the country’s first-ever study of this type.

The prevalence of gender-based violence in Somalia, including rape, is reported to be one of the highest in the world. Migrants and internally displaced people (IDPs) are particularly vulnerable, due to lack of protection and the insecure environment in which they live.

In June 2012, IOM Somalia conducted a rapid assessment in two IDP settlements in Somalia where gender-based violence prevalence was reportedly high. The assessment concluded that many of the incidents took place at night, when IDP settlements are in darkness. IOM followed up with a distribution of over 1,400 solar lanterns in IDP camps countrywide.

Although lighting has been known to prevent gender-based violence, no scientific study of the issue has ever been conducted in Somalia. IOM will therefore conduct baseline and post-intervention studies to establish the link between solar lanterns and levels of gender-based violence in the areas of distribution, and to assess how cost-effective solar lanterns are in reducing the number of reported cases. The study will also shed light on other changes that solar lanterns may bring about to the lives of IDPs, including the impact of light that allows school children to study at night.

The Somali Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA) believes that the Gender-based violence (GBV) encompasses a wide range of human rights violations ranging from rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women, girls and boys and harmful traditional practices including female genital mutilation/cutting, early marriage, bride inheritance and others and realized that the coverage in Somali media of gender based violence (GBV), is extremely limited and calls Strengthening media and journalists capacity training’s in Gender Based Violence reporting in Somalia.

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About somesha

Somali Media for Environment, Science Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA)
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