• Male rape survivors go uncounted in #Rohingya camps

    ‘I don’t hear people talk about sexual violence against men. But this is also not specific to this response.’
    Nurul Islam feels the pain every time he sits: it’s a reminder of the sexual violence the Rohingya man endured when he fled Myanmar two years ago.

    Nurul, a refugee, says he was raped and tortured by Myanmar soldiers during the military purge that ousted more than 700,000 Rohingya from Rakhine State starting in August 2017.

    “They put me like a dog,” Nurul said, acting out the attack by bowing toward the ground, black tarp sheets lining the bamboo tent around him.

    Nurul, 40, is one of the uncounted male survivors of sexual violence now living in Bangladesh’s cramped refugee camps.

    Rights groups and aid agencies have documented widespread sexual violence against women and girls as part of the Rohingya purge. UN investigators say the scale of Myanmar military sexual violence was so severe that it amounts to evidence of “genocidal intent to destroy the Rohingya population” in and of itself.

    But boys and men like Nurul were also victims. Researchers who study sexual violence in crises say the needs of male survivors have largely been overlooked and neglected by humanitarian programmes in Bangladesh’s refugee camps.

    “There’s a striking division between aid workers and the refugees,” said Sarah Chynoweth, a researcher who has studied male survivors of sexual violence in emergencies around the world, including the Rohingya camps. “Many aid workers say we haven’t heard about it, but the refugees are well aware of it.”

    A report she authored for the Women’s Refugee Commission, a research organisation that advocates for improvements on gender issues in humanitarian responses, calls for aid groups in Bangladesh to boost services for all survivors of sexual violence – recognising that men and boys need help, in addition to women and girls.

    Rights groups say services for all survivors of gender-based violence are “grossly inadequate” and underfunded across the camps – including care for people attacked in the exodus from Myanmar, as well as abuse that happens in Bangladesh’s city-sized refugee camps.

    Stigma often prevents Rohingya men and boys from speaking up, while many aid groups aren’t asking the right questions to find out.

    But there are even fewer services offering male victims like Nurul specialised counselling and healthcare.

    Chynoweth and others who work on the issue say stigma often prevents Rohingya men and boys from speaking up, while many aid groups aren’t asking the right questions to find out – leaving humanitarian groups with scarce data to plan a better response, and male survivors of sexual violence with little help.

    In interviews with organisations working on gender-based violence, health, and mental health in the camps, aid staff told The New Humanitarian that the needs of male rape survivors have rarely been discussed, or that specialised services were unnecessary.

    Mercy Lwambi, women protection and empowerment coordinator at the International Rescue Committee, said focusing on female survivors of gender-based violence is not intended to exclude men.

    “What we do is just evidence-informed,” she said. “We have evidence to show it’s for the most part women and girls who are affected by sexual violence. The numbers of male survivors are usually low.”

    But according to gender-based violence case management guidelines compiled by organisations including the IRC, services should be in place for all survivors of sexual violence, with or without incident data.

    And in the camps, Rohingya refugees know that male survivors exist.

    TNH spoke with dozens of Rohingya refugees, asking about the issue of ”torture against private parts of men”. Over the course of a week, TNH met 21 Rohingya who said they were affected, knew other people who were, or said they witnessed it themselves.

    When fellow refugees reached out to Nurul on behalf of TNH, he decided to share his experiences as a survivor of sexual violence: “Because it happened to men too,” he said.
    Asking the right questions

    After his attack in Myanmar, Nurul said other Rohingya men dragged him across the border to Bangladesh’s camps. When he went to a health clinic, the doctors handed him painkillers. There were no questions about his injury, and he didn’t offer an explanation.

    “I was too ashamed to tell them what had happened,” he said.

    When TNH met him in June, Nurul said he hadn’t received any counselling or care for his abuse.

    But Chynoweth says the problem is more complicated than men being reluctant to out themselves as rape victims, or aid workers simply not acknowledging the severity of sexual violence against men and boys.

    She believes it’s also a question of language.

    When Chynoweth last year started asking refugees if they knew of men who had been raped or sexually abused, most at first said no. When she left out the words “sexual” and “rape” and instead asked if “torture” was done against their “private parts”, people opened up.

    “Many men have no idea that what happened to them is sexual violence,” she said.

    Similarly, when she asked NGO workers in Bangladesh if they had encountered sexual violence against Rohingya men, many would shake their heads. “As soon as I asked if they had treated men with genital trauma, the answer was: ‘Yes, of course,’” she said.

    This suggests that health workers must be better trained to ask the right questions and to spot signs of abuse, Chynoweth said.
    Challenging taboos

    The undercounting of sexual violence against men has long been a problem in humanitarian responses.

    A December 2013 report by the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict notes that sexual and gender-based violence is often seen as a women’s issue, yet “the disparity between levels of conflict-related sexual violence against women and levels against men is rarely as dramatic as one might expect”.

    A Security Council resolution this year formally recognised that sexual violence in conflict also targets men and boys; Human Rights Watch called it “an important step in challenging the taboos that keep men from reporting their experiences and deny the survivors the assistance they need”.

    But in the Rohingya refugee camps, the issue still flies under the radar.

    Mwajuma Msangi from the UN Population Fund, which chairs the gender-based violence subsector for aid groups in the camps, said sexual violence against men and boys is usually only raised, if at all, during the “any other business” section that ends bimonthly coordination meetings.

    “It hasn’t really come up,” Msangi said in an interview. “It’s good you are bringing this up, we should definitely look into it.”

    TNH asked staff from other major aid groups about the issue, including the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR, which co-manages UN and NGO efforts in the camps, and the World Health Organisation, which leads the health sector. There were few programmes training staff on how to work with male survivors of sexual violence, or offering specialised healthcare or counselling.

    “The [gender-based violence] sector has not been very proactive in training health workers to be honest,” said Donald Sonne Kazungu, Médecins Sans Frontières’ medical coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “I don’t hear people talk about sexual violence against men. But this is also not specific to this response.”

    "The NGO world doesn’t acknowledge that it happened because there is no data, and there is no data because nobody is asking for it.”

    No data, no response

    For the few organisations that work with male survivors of sexual violence in the camps, the failure to assess the extent of the problem is part of a cycle that prevents solutions.

    "The NGO world doesn’t acknowledge that it happened because there is no data, and there is no data because nobody is asking for it,” said Eva Buzo, country director for Legal Action Worldwide, a European NGO that offers legal support to people in crises, including a women’s organisation in the camps, Shanti Mohila.

    LAW trains NGO medical staff and outreach workers, teaching them to be aware of signs of abuse among male survivors. It’s also trying to solidify a system through which men and boys can be referred for help. Through the first half of the year, the organisation has interacted with 25 men.

    "It’s really hardly a groundbreaking project, but unfortunately it is,” Buzo said, shrugging her shoulders. “Nobody else is paying attention.”

    But she’s reluctant to advertise her programme in the camps: there aren’t enough services where male victims of sexual violence can access specialised health and psychological care. Buzo said she trusts two doctors that work specifically with male survivors; both were trained by her organisation.

    “It’s shocking how ill-equipped the sector is,” she said, frustrated about her dilemma. “If we identify new survivors, I don’t even know where to refer them to.”

    The issue also underscores a larger debate in the humanitarian sector about whether gender-based violence programmes should focus primarily on women and girls, who face added risks in crises, or also better include men, boys, and the LGBTI community.

    “If we identify new survivors, I don’t even know where to refer them to.”

    Buzo says the lack of services for male survivors in the Rohingya camps points to a reluctance to recognise the need for action out of fear it might come at the expense of services for women – which already suffer from funding shortfalls.

    The Rohingya response could have been a precedent for the humanitarian sector as a whole to better respond to male survivors of sexual violence, according to an aid worker who worked on protection issues in the camps in 2017 as the massive refugee outflow was unfolding.

    When she questioned incoming refugees about sexual violence against women, numerous Rohingya asked what could be done for men who had also been raped, said the aid worker, who asked not to be named as she didn’t have permission to speak on behalf of her organisation.

    “We missed yet another chance to open this issue up,” she said.

    Chynoweth believes health, protection, and counselling programmes for all survivors – female and male – must improve.

    “There aren’t many services for women and girls. The response to all survivors is really poor,” she said. “But we should, and we can do both.”

    #viol #viols #violences_sexuelles #conflits #abus_sexuels #hommes_violés #réfugiés #asile #migrations #camps_de_réfugiés #Myanmar #Birmanie

  • Understanding sexual violence against men and boys in conflict

    Ten years after sexual violence in war was officially recognized as a threat to peace and security, sexual violence against men and boys still receives very little policy and research attention—and that needs to change.

    #viol #viols #violences_sexuelles #conflits #guerre #hommes #abus_sexuels #hommes_violés

  • Libye, terre des #hommes_violés

    En Libye, le viol est une arme de guerre. Mais, contrairement à dʹautres pays qui connaissent aussi ce fléau, ce sont les hommes qui sont les premiers touchés. La juriste Céline Bardet a longtemps travaillé sur les crimes de masse au Tribunal pénal international de la Haye. Elle suit de près la situation libyenne. Entretien avec Guillaume Henchoz.

    #viol #hommes #Libye #viol_comme_arme_de_guerre #violences_sexuelles

    • Libye - Anatomie d’un crime
      70 min
      Disponible du 23/10/2018 au 21/12/2018

      Le viol est devenu, depuis une trentaine d’années, une arme de destruction massive en Bosnie, au Rwanda, au Congo et en Syrie. Alors que les femmes et les enfants en sont les premières cibles, dans la poudrière libyenne, ce crime de guerre érigé en système frappe d’abord les hommes. Exilés libyens à Tunis, Emad, un militant, et Ramadan, un procureur, tentent dans la clandestinité de recueillir les preuves d’une barbarie dont les victimes restent emmurées dans l’indicible. À force d’opiniâtreté, ces activistes, aidés par Céline Bardet, une juriste internationale, obtiennent les premiers récits circonstanciés d’une poignée d’hommes qui ont subi ces supplices. Anéantis, le fantomatique Yacine, Nazir ou encore Ahmed livrent des bribes effroyables de leur histoire et de leur intimité saccagée. La voix brisée, ils racontent les prisons clandestines, la violence, les humiliations et les tortures commises par les milices armées dans un pays plongé dans le chaos depuis la chute de Kadhafi. Dans ce cycle sans fin d’horreur organisée, les migrants aussi sont utilisés. Détenu dans une dizaine de geôles, Ali, tout juste libéré, témoigne, lui, de la généralisation du viol qui vise systématiquement les Tawergha, une tribu noire ostracisée.

  • HCR | Crise syrienne : Tortures sexuelles et viols généralisés à l’égard des hommes et jeunes garçons

    Selon une étude du HCR, le viol, la torture et l’exploitation sexuelle à l’égard des hommes et des jeunes garçons en Syrie et dans d’autres pays pourraient être nettement plus répandus qu’on ne l’estimait auparavant.

  • Legacies and Lessons
    Sexual violence against men and boys
    in Sri Lanka and Bosnia & Herzegovina

    Quelque 3000 hommes et garçons ont été victimes de #violences_sexuelles durant la #guerre de #Bosnie-Herzégovine, mais leur histoire est restée jusqu’à présent secrète. Un tabou que vient de briser un rapport du Williams Institute de l’Université de Californie (UCLA).

    (Avec BalkanInsight) — Plus de deux décennies après la fin de la guerre en Bosnie-Herzégovine, le Williams Institute de l’Université de Californie (UCLA) lève un tabou en publiant un rapport sur les hommes victimes de viol. « Les violences sexuelles contre les hommes et les garçons dans un contexte de guerre restent l’une des violations les plus graves des droits humains, mais aussi l’une des moins bien documentées », souligne le rapport. Selon le Williams Institute, quelque 3000 hommes et garçons ont été violés durant la guerre en Bosnie-Herzégovine, entre 1992 et 1995.

    Le déni et le manque de documentation sur ces crimes ont empêché les victimes de demander justice, explique l’institut. Si la stigmatisation et la honte sont de puissants facteurs qui empêchent de reconnaître ce qui s’est passé, la Bosnie-Herzégovine a également échoué à mettre en place une législation permettant de traiter ce problème, ajoute le rapport. « Les informations recueillies par le projet All Survivors indiquent qu’il n’existe pas de formation spécifique pour aider la police à identifier les violences sexuelles, ni à mener des enquêtes. »
    Un #crime toujours non reconnu

    « Les juges et les magistrats manquent de compréhension et de sensibilité à l’égard des victimes de violences sexuelles, tandis que les procédures pour assurer la confidentialité des victimes, y compris durant les audiences au tribunal, font défaut. » De même, l’absence d’une base de données fiable sur les victimes de violences sexuelles durant la guerre est un obstacle supplémentaire. « La majorité des cas documentés se sont produits en détention, le plus souvent dans des camps de concentration où des civils ont été internés dans des conditions épouvantables. Mais on recense de nombreux cas de violences sexuelles contre des hommes dans d’autres contextes, notamment lors de pillages et d’interrogatoires. »

    Selon le Williams Institute, le Tribunal pénal international pour l’ancienne Yougoslavie (TPIY) a fait quelques progrès en définissant le viol comme une violation des lois et coutumes de guerre et comme un crime contre l’humanité, ainsi qu’en clarifiant la loi sur les violences sexuelles en temps de guerre.

    « Dix des 78 cas jugés par le TPIY portant sur des violences sexuelles contre des hommes ont permis de reconnaître que certains actes commis contre les hommes constituent des crimes internationalement reconnus, comme des relations sexuelles orales forcées, d’autres actes sexuels forcés, des mutilations génitales, des sévices des parties génitales et des menaces de mutilation sexuelle », note l’Institut. Il n’en reste pas moins que, malgré cette contribution positive du TPIY, la nature des violences sexuelles contre les hommes n’est toujours pas pleinement reconnue.

    Report :


  • How to Combat Domestic Violence Among Syrian Refugees? Talk to Men

    Domestic violence is reported to have risen sharply among Syrians forced to flee their homeland. While many aid programs target women, some groups in Lebanon are putting new focus on men, hoping to address the problem at the source.

    #violence_domestique #asile #migrations #réfugiés #femmes #hommes #réfugiés_syriens #Liban #viol #hommes_violés

  • #Violences_sexuelles contre les #hommes, une prise de conscience progressive

    Le 21 mars 2016, la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) a jugé Jean-Pierre Bemba coupable de crime contre l’humanité et de crime de guerre pour des actes commis en République de Centrafrique par les troupes dont il était le commandant militaire. Parmi ces actes, la CPI retient les violences sexuelles (dont le #viol) pratiquées entre octobre 2002 et mars 2003.
    Une remarque historique pour conclure : la préoccupation pour les viols d’hommes et de garçons a pris de l’intensité et eut des effets pratiques (judiciaires, médicaux, intellectuels) quand fut reconnue leur ampleur dans les conflits armés de l’est de la #République_démocratique_du_Congo. Ce fut en particulier des reportages de journalistes et des travaux de chercheurs portant sur la #RDC qui révélèrent au grand public l’importance du phénomène et en analysèrent les circonstances et la méconnaissance.

    #genre #hommes_violés