Project on sexual and gender-based violence against people with disabilities

In 2019, MyRights partner organizations in Bolivia, Bosnia and HerzegovinaHerzegovina and Nepal a study aimed at counteracting that people with disability is exposed to sexual and gender-based violence. The work with the study lasted for six months and could be carried out thanks to project support from Radiohjälpen / Musikhjälpen.

Figures from the UN agency UNFPA show that young women and girls with disabilities suffer from gender-based violence ten times more than young women and girls without any disabilities.
Girls and boys with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities are particularly vulnerable. They run four
times higher risk of sexual and gender-based violence than children without disabilities. Than
it becomes more complicated and risky in connection with humanitarian crises, such as armed conflicts and natural disasters, and unfortunately, gender-based violence continues all too often even after the crisis itself is
over. Sexual and gender-based violence is generally high in countries with high levels of public violence, but it can also
be high in countries with relatively low levels of violence, such as Bolivia.

The project's final reports confirm that people with disabilities are at greater risk of being exposed to
sexual and gender-based violence. In addition, it is shown that they have significantly worse access to the legal system.

The organizations involved in Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nepal themselves stated that they were ahead
the in-depth study only had a limited understanding and knowledge of the extent to which people with
Disability risks being exposed to sexual and gender-based violence. However, the organizations state
that their participation in the study changed this.

Good conditions for the future
After only six months of work, it is difficult to draw any long-term conclusions, but the results that have
achieved indicates good conditions for future work to counteract sexual and gender-based violence
against people with disabilities in the three intervention countries. One measure that indicates this is that in these countries, platforms for evidence-based knowledge have been built up and development tools have been developed for the country-specific situation. The platforms create the conditions for the organizations in these three countries to be significantly better equipped to promote the necessary legal and political changes.
sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), protection against sexual and gender-based
violence and access to justice in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

One of the project's most important results is the level of commitment for continued strategic advocacy work
against sexual and gender-based violence has become significantly higher among partner organizations. In Bosnia and Herzegovina
for example, contact persons have been appointed for work against gender-related violence within the four
the networks / coalitions. These contact persons are responsible for leading the strategic work within
the disability movement in their respective regions.

A total of 74 NGOs have been identified in Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and
Nepal whose commitment is important to sexual and gender-based violence against people with disabilities
must be able to be combated. Identifying and influencing these actors is crucial to getting it
change that is necessary.

The continued work
In Bolivia, the organizations involved in the project have decided to give high priority to advocacy work linked to this issue by 2020.

In Nepal, the umbrella organization National Federation of the Disabled Nepal (NFDN) is motivated to pursue the issue with both preventive and reactive measures. It has begun to integrate recommendations related to the issue in its strategic plans for advocacy work, and will work both with internal capacity building and with advocacy work vis-à-vis selected authorities. The recommendations in the country report deal with different parts of society, such as schooling and the importance of children and young people receiving an education that includes good sex education.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the results were presented in the country reports at a public event where one
number of relevant stakeholders participated as representatives of governmental organizations and institutions,
foreign embassies, researchers, non-governmental organizations including disability and SRHR organizations,
human rights activists, women's activists and the media.

It is very positive that the partner organizations that participated in the project started after only six months
arrange advocacy activities to promote measures to combat sexual and gender-based
violence against people with disabilities. It sees MyRight as an indication that the organizations
has the capacity to promote real change in this area.

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