In Syria, women and girls are being targeted for rape on a massive scale. This is one of the primary reasons many are fleeing to Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq. As refugees, however, these women and girls remain vulnerable to multiple forms of gender-based violence (GBV). This crisis requires urgent action. The United Nations Refugee Agency should immediately prioritize protecting Syrian women and girls to ensure they receive greater assistance and prevent further violence against them.
- The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) must treat the protection of Syrian women and girls as lifesaving intervention, increase financial resources for GBV programming, and assign senior GBV specialists to offices in Jordan and Iraq.
- UNHCR should strengthen coordination of programs providing comprehensive GBV services, and should focus on building referral mechanisms inside and outside of camps in Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq.
- UNHCR and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization must build Jordan's second refugee camp in accordance with international humanitarian guidelines.
- The United States and other donors should increase funding for comprehensive GBV programming inside and outside camps, including clinical care for rape survivors, psychosocial support, safe spaces, and socioeconomic support.
- The governments of Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq must ensure that all refugees – particularly women and girls – can access services regardless of registration status or whether they reside inside or outside of camps.