Emilie, aged 17 is a participant in Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) activities supported by Plan in Mbaiki community, Central African Republic.

Irish Red Cross – Addressing GBV in Dadaab Refugee Camp

Work to address all forms of Violence in Dadaab Refugee Camp, with a focus on GBV

Dadaab is known as the largest refugee camp in the world, with over 330,000 refugees hosted at a site in the North East of Kenya.1

In 2011, the Kenya Red Cross Society took over the coordination of two of the biggest camps in the Dadaab refugee complex. In the sprawling camps, home to 80,000 people, women and girls are at a significant risk of GBV.

The Kenyan Red Cross, supported by the Canadian and Irish Red Cross Societies launched a violence prevention initiative in the two camps in 2013. The project worked with the refugee community to create an environment free of violence, to deal with violence when it arose in the camp and help change attitudes and practices towards violence. The project also targeted staff and volunteers working in the camp to help them review and where necessary revise their practices and services regarding gender-based and interpersonal violence.

“We went block-by-block in the camp working with fellow refugees to organise self-protection committees, establish male-led non-violence clubs and create safe spaces for women” – Mary, a refugee from South Sudan and Kenya Red Cross volunteer.

1  UNCHR (2016). As of July 31st 2016, the number of registered refugees at Dadaab was 338,043 Available at: http://data.unhcr. org/horn-of-africa/region.php?id=3&country=110


Through information dissemination to the community on violence, referral mechanisms, and clinical care for rape survivors, the community is now more aware of their rights and where to seek help.

The programme also worked with the authorities, armed and security forces and other weapon-bearers to ensure that these actors respect, promote respect for, include and implement the norms of International Humanitarian Law and other internationally recognised standards relating to sexual violence in armed conflict.

Three years after the programme started, an independent review showed incidents of violence had fallen by 77 per cent and more than 80 per cent of those taking part had changed behaviour linked to violence.