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Title:Despair and Disdain: A Tale of Sexual Abuse against Internally Displaced Women in Northern Uganda
Author:Sooma, Patrick
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:sexual offences
displaced persons
Women's Issues
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Politics and Government
Cultural Roles
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Abstract:The war in northern Uganda has had a more devastating effect on the lives and dignity of women and girls than on those of their male counterparts. This paper provides a socio-legal examination of sexual gender-based violence in Gulu district (part of the former Acholi district), which has experienced the internal displacement of people into camps since 1996. Women and girls have become the soft targets of sexual violence, with rape and assault being used as weapons of war. These gender-specific threats have compounded the challenges to their protection. The paper brings to light the fact that gender-based violence within the Internally Displaced People's (IDP) camps is a common, yet silent, affliction. The risk factors that have perpetuated gender-based violence are notably the IDP situation itself, unemployment, sharing of housing units, general moral decay, ignorance, and poverty. Despite the presence of several local and international NGOs, there is no programme targeting this vice in the area. The government has failed to mobilize an effective strategy for humanitarian protection. The international community has also failed in its obligation to protect the vulnerable by failing to close the protection gap faced by civilians. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]