In an interview with Huffington Post, Melissa Fleming, Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), discusses the plight of women in refugee camps; the work of UNHCR around the world; TEDxPlaceDesNations which she organized, and much more.
” UNHCR is deeply concerned about the safety and security of women and girl refugees. It is unacceptable that fear of sexual assault is a factor of refugee life. But unfortunately, sexual and gender based violence is one of the most widespread protection risks faced by forcibly displaced women and girls, and even for some men and boys. Conflict and displacement make refugees and the displaced more vulnerable to abuse, including domestic violence, sexual exploitation, survival sex and forced marriage.
UNHCR is grateful for funding from the United States for a three-year initiative called “Safe from the Start” to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies around the world. This allows us to dedicate staff at the start of an emergency to ensure our camp design and our education and health care programs are aimed to prevent sexual violence.”