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A note from Protection Cluster on giving women Cash for Work to do GBV activies and caring for kids in camps...


HI all,

The ideas below are not new- in fact women have been pushing for them, but seems UN Cluster for Protection finally getting on board. This is one specific action item in the GBV portfolio. Note is from Amnesty Intl rep Gerardo Ducos in Haiti - sent to Protection group thread.. -- AC

From: Gerardo - Amnesty International
Date: 7 April 2010 12:16
Subject: {GBV SubCluster Haiti} Re: How to include GBV reduction in Cash for Work?
To: GBV SubCluster Haiti

Dear Sarah,

I was recently doing research on GBV in Haiti and my colleagues and I
spoke with many women in the camps. I have for the moment two
recommendations that could help women and also contribute to reducing
GBV in the camps.

1. In some camps, women prepare the meals for the whole camp
population using the food distributed by the WFP. For instance, in
Camp Penchinat in Jacmel, every day, in the morning and afternoons,
more than 5,000 dishes are prepared by women and men alike. The women
we met complained quite rightly that they've been working for more
than 2 months without receiving any payment, not even in kind. They
argued that what they were doing was a proper job and should be
included in the cash-for-work programme. Also bear in mind that men
participated in the meal elaboration process: fetching water at
sources from outside the camp when the water on-site ran out, fetching
wood as fuel, carrying the bags of rice and beans, serving the meals,
and also cooking. I know about this camp because we were there but
I'm sure that similar situations exist in other camps.

2. In Champ-de-Mars, young girls are being sexually assaulted and
victimized in many ways. One of the reasons is that parents need to
leave the shelter or the camp altogether to carry on with their jobs
(those lucky to still have one) or their commercial activities in the
informal sector. They cannot bring their children with them to the
market for instance and therefore, they are left behind without any
supervision or protection for the whole day or even at night. We
interviewed a young girl victim of rape. She was alone with her sister
in their tent when she was raped. Their mother (a widow) had to go out
of the camp leaving them alone. We also met young children (4, 5, 6
years old) basically stranded in the camps because parents had to go
out. It would be a good idea to establish a sort of in-camp nurseries/
kindergarten or provide care / adult supervision to these children who
are not attending school anyway and include the persons doing this
essential and much needed service in many camps in the cash-for-work
programme with proper monitoring.

In Champ-de-Mars, we also met with members of KOFAVIV, a grass-roots
women's organization that have been working with survivors of sexual
violence since the early 2000s. They through agents at community
levels, identifying victims of sexual violence and helping them to
seek medical assistance. The organization also provided group support.
Most of the members are homeless since the earthquake and there are
currently 150 KOFAVIV members in Champ-de-Mars. They carry on with
their work, all voluntary, and including them in the cash-for-work
programme will tremendously help them and the victims they are working
with to raise awareness against SGBV in the this camp, and also to
make sure that women have access to medical services within 72 hours
after an aggression. Distributing information to women should also be
considered a form of work and an empowering tool for those imparting
the info and for those receiving it.

I hope this helps. If you want to discuss these issues further or need
contact details for KOFAVIV and for the Penchinat camp, you can
contact me at

Kind regards,

Gerardo Ducos

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