Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) constitutes the main protection risk in the settlement. The most common forms of SGBV reported include intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, and statutory rape (defilement). Comprehensive awareness-raising activities addressing the root causes of SGBV, including the lack of livelihood opportunities, poverty, unequal gender roles and harmful traditional practices, remains key to prevent incidents of SGBV. All implementing and operational partners working in Mantapala have been mobilized to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse through collective sensitization activities and the setting up of a joint inter-agency complaint mechanism.
Continuous strengthening of the identification, referral and multi-sectoral responses to incidents of SGBV through partners and affected communities is another key priority.
Targeted interventions to support economic empowerment and education opportunities for women and girls-at risk and survivors of exploitation and abuse is essential to reduce reliance on negative coping mechanisms and exposure to the risks of SGBV. Investment in infrastructure and assets is also crucial in preventing and responding to SGBV, including installation of security lights in common areas, establishment of safe spaces and centres for women and girls, and procurement of additional vehicles and motorcycles to enhance the police mobility on patrol and outreach.
Another priority area is to strengthen the identification and referral of children-at-risk, in particular, unaccompanied and separated children, child labour, children who are physically or psychologically abused and out of school children.
UNHCR has rolled out the Isibindi methodology relying on community-based structures to assist in the identification and referral of children-at-risk, awareness raising and identification of solutions, such as alternative care arrangements.
UNHCR, together with partners, have strengthened the identification of persons with specific needs, including chronically ill, disabled, older persons and single-headed households, in order to prevent protection risks, such as exploitation and abuse, social exclusion, or resorting to negative coping mechanisms. After identification, sustainable programmes should be established to refer the individuals to targeted assistance or support.