Posted by: Ana Monroy | January 2, 2013

Check out the activities that took place in Brazil as part of the 16 Days of Activism!

UNHCR and UNAIDS sensitize refugees and authorities on SGBV at Brazilian Amazon


Within the framework of the 16 Days of Activist against SGBV, UNHCR and UNAIDS conducted a round of sensitization activities on violence against women at the northern Brazilian state of Amazonas.

With the support of Cáritas Archdiocese of Manaus, around 50 refugee (women and men, the majority from Colombia) living at this largest Amazonian city, Manaus, participated in two workshops to talk about violence in different approaches. The participants also debated about sensitive issues, such as machismo, gender roles and power games on personal relationships and sexual relations.

Some of them reported SGBV cases and were informed about Brazilian legislation on this issue and their connected rights and duties. They also received didactic information material about SGBV, with relevant contacts of public services such as SGBV reference centers and police offices dedicated to women.

Besides this round of sensitization activities, Manaus also did very well in the new SGBV e-learning contest. The operation won the category of office with highest percentage of UNVs completing modules 1 and 2. In addition, Manaus is also TOP 1 among the TOP 5 offices with highest percentage of staff completing Modules 1 & 2. The operation showed its great commitment in making SGBV prevention and response a priority.

Refugees unite in Rio de Janeiro to address violence against women


At Cáritas Archdiocese’s reception center for refugees in the city, the Sierra Leonean Georgia, the Congolese Cesarine and the Colombian Sandra (*) attended a lecture given by the Metropolitan Civil Guard on violence against women on December 12. During the debate they remembered the violence they had suffered in their home countries before going to Brazil, where they sought refuge.

Georgia escaped Sierra Leone at the age of 15, as she refused to undergo genital mutilation, a very common practice in her community. Cesarine saw her husband and children being abducted by irregular armed groups operating in Congo and had to leave her country on her own to survive. Sandra revealed that her life in Colombia was marked by violence related to the internal conflict, which forced her and her family to seek refuge in Brazil.

The lecture was also attended by refugee men and was an initiative supported by UNHCR under the global campaign 16 Days of Activism Against SGBV. In the previous week, Cáritas Rio and the NGO Promundo talked with refugees on equal rights and on the law Maria da Penha, which criminalizes gender-based violence (including domestic violence) in Brazil.

The events brought together nearly 100 refugees of different nationalities. All of them received leaflets on the rights and obligations of refugees and asylum seekers in Brazil as well as information about the centers specialized in assisting women victims of SGBV.

(*) Names changed on request of the interviewees


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