Skip to content Skip to navigation

Handa Center research fellow co-authors report on sexual violence against male Rohingya refugees

Handa Center research fellow Dr. Sarah Chynoweth
Nov 12 2018

Handa Center Research Fellow Sarah Chynoweth recently published a report through the Women's Refugee Commission on sexual violence in the Rohingya refugee community. The volume, "'It’s Happening to Our Men as Well': Sexual Violence Against Rohingya Men and Boys," is an exploratory report spanning three countries on sexual violence against refugee men and boys. With co-author Dale Buscher, Chynoweth conducted focus groups with Rohingya men, women, and adolescents in four sections of Kutupalong Camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, and interviewed humanitarian aid workers and human rights experts.

Among the more striking findings of the report: "Conflict-related sexual violence against Rohingya men and boys intersects with violence against Rohingya women and girls. Men and boys are forced to witness sexual violence perpetrated against female family and community members, inflicting deep suffering on both female victims and male observers and disrupting familial and social ties. Rohingya women reported that men have become more controlling and restrictive as a result of the recent campaign of sexual violence against women and girls...."

The researchers also identify multiple barriers to service availability for those affected and provide a wide set of recommendations for stakeholders including health and reproductive health actors, child protection actors, and donors.