Draft Platform for Action
E. Advance peace, promote conflict resolution and reduce the impact of armed or other conflict on women
Strategic objective E.5. Provide protection, assistance and training to refugee and displaced women [including internally displaced women]

Actions to be taken

149. By Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other institutions involved in providing protection, assistance and training to refugees and [internally] displaced persons, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme, as appropriate:

(a) Take steps to ensure that women are fully involved in the planning, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all short-term and long-term projects and programmes providing assistance to refugees and [internally] displaced women, including the management of refugee camps and resources. Ensure that refugees and displaced women and girls have direct access to services provided;

(b) Offer adequate protection and assistance to women and children displaced within their country and find solutions to the root causes of their displacement with a view to preventing it and, when appropriate, facilitate their return or resettlement;

(c) Take steps to protect the safety and physical integrity of refugee and [internally] displaced women during their displacement and upon their return to their communities of origin, including programmes of rehabilitation; take effective measures to protect from violence women who are refugees or displaced, hold an impartial and thorough investigation of any such violations and bring those responsible to justice;

(d) [Take all the necessary steps to ensure the right of refugee and displaced women to safe and protected return to their homes;]

(e) Take measures, at the national level with international cooperation, as appropriate, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, to find lasting solutions to questions related to internally displaced women, including their right to voluntary and safe return to their home of origin;

(f) [Take account of the specific needs and resources of refugee and displaced women and children, especially their access to appropriate and adequate food, water, shelter and health-care services, including reproductive health services, in the provision of emergency relief and longer term assistance] [Ensure that the international community and the international organizations provide financial and other resources to Governments in [countries of asylum] in order to provide emergency relief and longer term assistance that takes into account the specific needs and resources of refugee and displaced women and children, especially their access to appropriate and adequate food, water, shelter and health-care services including reproductive health services] [including vaccinations; provision of basic medicines and medicines related to tropical diseases, such as malaria and typhoid fever; full maternity care, including prenatal and postnatal care; dental care; and reproductive health care];

(g) Facilitate the availability of educational material in the appropriate language - in emergency situations also - in order to minimize disruption of schooling among refugee and displaced children;

(h) Apply international norms to ensure equal access and equal treatment of women and men in refugee determination procedures and the granting of asylum, including full respect and strict observation of the principle of non-refoulement [particularly for women and child refugees] through, inter alia, bringing national immigration regulations into conformity with relevant international instruments, and consider [gender factors in] recognizing as refugees those women whose claim to refugee status is based [upon the well-founded fear of persecution through sexual violence/gender factors for] [on] reasons enumerated in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol and provide access to specially trained officers, including female officials, to interview women regarding sensitive or painful experiences, such as sexual assault;

(i) [Support and promote efforts] by States towards [Consider] the development of criteria and guidelines on responses to persecution specifically aimed at women, by sharing information on States' initiatives to develop such criteria and guidelines and by monitoring to ensure their fair and consistent application;

(j) Promote the self-reliant capacities of refugee and [internally] displaced women and provide programmes for women, particularly young women, in leadership and decision-making within refugee and returnee communities;

(k) Ensure that the human rights of refugee and displaced women are protected and that refugee and displaced women are made aware of these rights; ensure that the vital importance of family reunification is recognized;

(l) [Adopt special measures, as appropriate, to provide women who have been determined refugees with access to vocational/professional training programmes, including language training, small-scale enterprise development training and planning and counselling on all forms of violence against women, which should include rehabilitation programmes for victims of torture and trauma, and substantially increase the international contribution to general programmes for assistance to refugees, particularly in countries which host the largest number of refugees;]

(m) Raise public awareness of the contribution made by refugee women to their countries of resettlement, promote understanding of their human rights and of their needs and abilities, and encourage mutual understanding and acceptance through educational programmes promoting cross-cultural and interracial harmony;

(n) [Provide basic and support services to women who are displaced from their place of origin as a result of terrorism, violence, drug trafficking or other reasons linked to violence situations;]

(o) Develop awareness of women's [international] human rights and provide, as appropriate, human rights education and training to military and police personnel operating in areas of armed conflict and areas where there are refugees.

150. By Governments:

(a) Disseminate and implement the UNHCR Guidelines on the Protection of Refugee Women and the UNHCR Guidelines on Evaluation and Care of Victims of Trauma and Violence, or provide similar guidance, in close cooperation with refugee women and in all sectors of refugee programmes;

(b) [Protect women and children who migrate as family members from abuse or denial of their human rights by sponsors and consider extending their stay, should the family relationship dissolve, within the limits of national legislation;] [Subpara. to be moved.]

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