GBV Trends Among Rohingya Refugees in Cox’s Bazar: COVID-19 Update

Authored by: Laurence Gerhardt

Categories: Human Rights, Humanitarian Emergencies
Sub-Categories: COVID-19, Migration, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health
Country: Bangladesh
Region: South and Central Asia
Year: 2021
Citation: Gerhardt, Laurence. "GBV Trends Among Rohingya Refugees in Cox’s Bazar: COVID-19 Update." International Rescue Committee. January 2021.

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Executive Summary

This new update brief offers new data from IRC and partner programme sites from January – October 2020, a period of time in which women and girls faced new protection risks, mental health issues, and a reduction in available services in the camps, in addition to significant new barriers to reporting incidents of GBV. IRC GBV screening data in this report suggests that despite the significant pre-existing barriers to reporting incidents of GBV outlined in our June Shadow Pandemic report, and in the face of the substantial new barriers posed by COVID-19, reported rates of GBV among Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar remain shockingly high, particularly among women and girls in their own homes.

The IRC’s analysis finds that the majority – 94 percent – of recorded GBV incidents in this time period were perpetrated by intimate partners, a significantly higher rate than the 81 percent average indicated in the June Shadow Pandemic report. The primary form of GBV reported by women and girls remained physical assault, with spikes in recorded in GBVIMS data found particularly during April, the first month following lockdown in Cox’s Bazar, and September, shortly after GBV prevention activities had restarted, suggesting a clear link between availability of GBV services and the ability of women and girls to report GBV incidents.