Sexual violence against children and adolescents is a major global health problem. According to data gathered by Save the Children and the agency’s experience in conflict-affected areas 80% of children living in areas of conflict or disaster are affected by sexual abuse, which is estimated to be over 30 million children. Additionally, likely perpetrators are from government armed forces and non-state armed forces and civilians (Save the Children Fund, 2013). Studies from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Haiti, Cote d’Ivoire Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Columbia and the Central Africa Republic estimate that between 52% and 70% of sexual violence cases involved mostly girls 18 years and younger although, boys can also be the victims of sexual violence (Save the Children Fund, 2013).
Sexual violence is an umbrella term for a variety of harmful and sexually abusive behaviors. Sometimes this term is referred to as gender-based violence (GBV) which specifically encompasses the scope of sexual abuses in conflict and post-disasters against women and children. In the literature there are many definitions of sexual violence. For this grant application, the definition of sexual violence is “all forms of sexual abuse, exploitation, assault, pornography, prostitution, trafficking for sexual purposes, sex tourism, early and forced marriage and enslavement” (Save the Children Fund, 2013; ECPAT International, 2006). It occurs among both females and males. Although reporting of sexual violence against male children is low, Azil strongly enforces the inclusion of all children despite gender (Save the Children Fund, 2013; ECPAT International, 2006).
Additionally, the definition of disasters is both conflict-affected areas (war, genocide, etc.), an event either natural or man-made, causing suffering such as death, injury, loss of property or economic damage overwhelming the communities capacity to cope (ECPAT International, 2006; Save the Children Fund, 2013).
Azil will address this problem by proposing to promote and enforce the human rights laws specifically protecting children. We will focus on a program which provides safe meeting places for children and adolescents to find shelter and promote a buddy system that enables children to walk in groups no smaller than three when displaced from family and other trusted adults. We will also provide children with skills for protecting themselves and their “buddies” post-disaster. Save the Children has an established and proven history in protecting children and their rights.
1.2 PLANNERS’ RELATIONSHIP WITH STAKEHOLDERS
Although Azil will act as its own entity, the most appropriate agency for consultation to assist in implementation and success of this program is Save the Children because they have a broad understanding of the scope of the problem regarding child sexual abuse during and after conflict and currently work in zones of conflict across the world (i.e. DRC, Sierra Leone and the Central African Republic). In...