Background of Research
Centre for Peace and Justice, Brac University is undertaking this research on the issue of Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PSEAH). This study is being implemented in close collaboration with the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam as the lead academic partner. Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ), Brac University, is implementing this research in Bangladesh as part of a consortium where two other country teams are from Ethiopia and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The study also closely works with the CHS Alliance and the Dutch Embassy in Bangladesh while implementing the project.
This research aims to address the aid sector’s accountability gap for survivors/victims of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH) in the Rohingya community. The particular focus is to improve and enable an environment of accountability in the humanitarian aid sector with regards to protecting women and girls from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. In this attempt the study will be guided by an overarching goal –
The specific objectives are –
By taking a holistic approach this project will be looking at three dimensions of prevention, protection and accountability. Prevention mechanism ensures preventing sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment by aid workers from happening. Protection ensures that there are safer, effective and trusted means of reporting when incidents of abuse happen. Accountability is to improve the accountability of the humanitarian system for the survivors of SEAH. It challenges the power imbalance between the aid workers and aid receptors and thereby gives more decision-making power to the latter to ensure accountability of the former.
The key output of this research will be – i) to establish effective and trusted reporting mechanisms for the SEAH survivors, and ii) to empower women and girls in the Rohingya camps through their active participation in the research using the Participatory Action Research (PAR) technique so that they can seek redress independently.
There are two components under this study; (i) PAR with the affected community; and (ii) policy advocacy. Through employing PAR, the experience and insights of women and girls from Rohingya community will guide the research whereas the approach will engage women and girls actively in the process and empower them to seek redress independently. The participatory action research expects to obtain the outcome where practical tools will be generated from consultations with the affected community especially women and girls.
Through policy advocacy and engagements, research findings will be shared with relevant stakeholders to inform, influence and strengthen aid sectors’ accountability to address SEAH issues.
Progress: Formative research employing informal discussions with the affected community was conducted to guide PAR tools development. CPJ researchers have started the PAR process where community women are being engaged and led the discussions on SEAH issue. CPJ researchers also conducted KIIs with relevant stakeholders to understand the organisational perspective of PSEAH.
Timeline: July, 2021 – June, 2022
Partners: International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands and CHS Alliance
Contact Person: Nahida Akter, Qualitative Researcher, email: email@example.com