Amina Osman, a refugee in Nakivale refugee camp in Isingiro district, Southwestern Uganda has asked government and development partners to put measures in place to address the challenge of rape in refugee camps.
Currently Uganda is home to over 1.2 million refugees of which 900,000 are South Sudanese. Others are from DRC, Burundi, Somalia, Ethiopia and Rwanda.
Osman who is a peer educator in the camp said some girls and women have confided in her and told her how they were raped and defiled.
“Something needs to be done to address the issue of rape in refugee camps,” she requested.
Amina Osman, a refugee talking to the New Vision during a press briefing at the Uganda solidarity Pre-summit workshop with young people on refugees.
She made the remarks during the pre-summit youth workshop held at United Nations Population (UNFPA) offices in Kampala on Wednesday.
The meeting which brought together young people from different refugee camps from across the country was under the theme “Young people are an asset for inclusive sustainable development of refugees and host communities
It was organized by the UNFPA in partnership with Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU).
In response to Osman’s concern, Mondo Kyateka, the Commissioner for Youth at the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development said acts of sexual violence and rape in settlement areas are barbaric, and unacceptable and government strongly condemns such acts.
He noted Uganda is a people-loving country, that is home to many refugees and therefore a few people that are involved in rape-related crimes are ‘rotten tomatoes’
Mondo gave them the toll free number 116, so that all survivors or victims of rape are able to report the cases to police or any other authority.
The UNFPA country representative Alain Sabinaler said rape is not acceptable whether one is a refugee camp or not.
“No matter where one is, or the circumstances they are going through, rape is not acceptable and should not happen,” he said.
The Royal Danish Ambassador Mogens Pedersen giving his key note address during the Uganda solidarity Pre-summit workshop with young people on refugees.
He said as an agency, they have trained several people who will deal with things like clinical management of rape in refugee camps as well as prevention and response.
Other issues the refugees raised at the meeting include; limited access to microfinance, lack of funds for to finance their project, inadequate scholastic materials, language barrier, and inadequate scholarships.
They called on government and development partners to add on the number of scholarships, increase on the number of teachers in schools where they go to, provision of market for their products and provision of funds to run youth-led projects.