Forcibly Displaced Women in Aruba at Higher Risk of Gender-Based Violence, HIAS Study Finds

ORANJESTAD — The lack of regular documentation is among the factors that put forcibly displaced women in Aruba at increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV), according to a new study from HIAS Aruba. The study was based on research conducted with the support of the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

The study, Diagnosis on Gender-Based Violence Against Refugee and Migrant Women in Aruba, showed the multiple forms of GBV that affect refugee and migrant women on the island, including violence in the domestic sphere, economic violence, and violence in the workplace. The report also highlighted the structural factors that put refugee and migrant women in Aruba in situations of heightened vulnerability to GBV, and the barriers women face in accessing the justice and health services available to them. Those barriers include the absence of regular documentation, lack of knowledge regarding women’s rights, and insufficient awareness of services offered by the state, along with the fear of being detained and deported, and the notion of violence as a private matter.

“The study’s findings show that the lack of international protection, irregular migration status, and limited access to information on available services and care pathways for women who are survivors or at risk of GBV contribute to GBV against displaced women, refugees, and migrants in Aruba,” said Francesco Volpi, HIAS Caribbean Country Director.

GBV is a life-threatening human rights violation that disproportionately affects women and girls, with an estimated impact on one in three women worldwide. In the contexts of humanitarian crises and forced displacement, the risk of suffering GBV rises significantly, and disproportionately affects women and adolescent girls.

To further discuss this issue, HIAS hosted a panel discussion today on the research findings. The event brought together stakeholders from the government and civil society to improve response services, policies, and the existing legal framework. The event provided a unique opportunity for attendees to engage in a thought-provoking discussion with experts and advocates in the field of gender-based violence.  

Learn more about the research on GBV in Aruba here.


About HIAS  

HIAS is a Jewish international NGO based in Silver Spring, Maryland that provides critical services to refugees, asylum seekers and other displaced people in 23 countries. HIAS Aruba was established in February 2019 to help secure the dignity, safety and well-being of vulnerable refugees, migrants, and host community members, including single women, women-headed households, survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), survivors of torture, older people, people with disabilities and serious medical conditions, and LGBTQ refugees. HIAS Aruba promotes refugees’ and migrants’ access to rights through advocacy and coordination with the Government of Aruba, local civil society, and international agencies. Our signature approach is centered around Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS), gender-based violence prevention and response, and economic integration.

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