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A Safe Place to Shine Creating Opportunities and Raising Voices of Adolescent Girls in Humanitarian Settings

This report provides key learnings from the Creating Opportunities through Mentoring, Parental Involvement and Safe Spaces (COMPASS) programme in Ethiopia, DRC, and Pakistan. This programme was launched by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in an attempt to address the specific needs of adolescent girls in humanitarian settings concerning their health, safety, and empowerment. The programme beneficiaries included refugees living in camps on the Sudan/Ethiopia border, conflict-affected communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and displaced populations in north-west Pakistan.

Following were some of the key conclusions and recommendations from the programme implemented over a period of three years (2014-2017):

  • Adolescent girls as young as 10 are experiencing GBV in humanitarian settings.
  • Intimate partners were most likely to be the perpetrators of nearly all types of violence against adolescent girls.
  • Adolescent girls expressed a clear demand for the tailored support provided by COMPASS.
  • Consultation with adolescent girls throughout implementation was essential to ensure programming is responsive, flexible and addressed the needs of girls from diverse backgrounds.
  • The existence of quality GBV services and trained staff was critical to ensure the safety and wellbeing of adolescent girls targeted by COMPASS.
  • Further programming and research area needed to build on this learning and increase understanding of which strategies and interventions are most effective in reducing GBV against adolescent girls in humanitarian settings.
Date published
  • 2017
Published by International Rescue Committee