This report focuses on conflict-related violence against internally displaced women and girls in the department of Dar Sila in eastern Chad. It investigates how the problem has changed over time, analyses the responses of the Chadian government and humanitarian community, and reviews the legal frameworks for protecting the human rights of survivors of violence.
IDMC conducted a mission to eastern Chad in April 2009, and met internally displaced women, men, and girls, displaced women's groups, displaced village leaders, gender-based violence committees, traditional leaders, members of civil society organisations and human rights defenders, as well as national and international aid workers, government officials, and UN staff (including peacekeepers and police). All interviews with displaced women and girls were conducted in adherence to the World Health Organization's ethical and safety recommendations for researching, documenting and monitoring sexual violence in emergencies. IDMC also reviewed national laws and international legal instruments that protect the rights of women and girls. The terms “gender-based violence” and “violence against women” are often used interchangeably. There is a tendency to associate gender with women and to use the term “gender-based violence” only in reference to violence against women and girls; however it includes violence against men and boys that results from gender roles or expectations, such as the forced recruitment of boys into armed forces. This report uses the narrower term “violence against women and girls” because it does not investigate gender-based violence against internally displaced men and boys.
As of October 2010, there were 171,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) living in 38 camps in eastern Chad. Roughly one in five members of the local population was internally displaced. They had been forcibly displaced as a result of internal armed conflict, inter-ethnic violence over land and natural resources, and attacks by bandits.