GMAP was invited to the CCW Protocol V Meeting of Experts session on Cooperation and Assistance and Victim Assistance to present on age and gender sensitive victim assistance.
Statistics of the casualties in 2014 were presented showing that the large majority of direct victims are men and boys and highlighting the importance of sex and age disaggregated data to identify groups of survivors.
Some of the issues that male and female survivors of different ages face were presented:
Due to gender inequalities prevalent in many societies, for example, higher levels of illiteracy, lower level of education and restricted mobility patterns, women and girls are less likely to access information about their rights to compensation and services available to them and/or the survivors they care for. Their employment opportunities are also very limited.
Males and females of all ages may face stigma following an accident – children especially face these challenges at school and may be subjected to bullying, harassment, and isolation because of their injuries. Men and boys may also be hesitant to seek support for their psychological trauma because that would contradict the prevalent idea of masculinity.
The presentation also highlighted the importance of providing assistance to the indirect victims, who are the family members of the injured/disabled/killed people who take on responsibilities for the family’s livelihood and caregiving of survivors in addition to their previous task. The caregivers tend to be disproportionately women and girls who are related to the survivors. The definition of victims outlined in the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) includes those who are directly and indirectly affected by explosive remnant of war (ERW) contamination.
A gender and diversity sensitive needs assessment should be carried out to ensure that victim assistance responds and is tailored to the needs of different groups. By including gender and diversity dimensions from the first stages of victim assistance, we can better meet the needs and respect the rights of all individuals impacted by mine and ERW contamination.