Ivory Coast: NGOs writes letter to Unhcr

An Open Letter to the UNHCR Commissioner, António Guterres, regarding the situation of dozens of Ivorian refugee women and girls recently arrived in Liberia.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Honorable António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt Suisse

email registry@ohchr.org

Dear High Commissioner,

our human rights defenders have received reports of dozens of cases of violence and sexual exploitation of women who have fled the humanitarian crisis in Ivory Coast and come to Liberia in search of humanitarian protection.
There are stories of young girls, in some cases only 12 or 13 years old, reaching Liberia to take shelter in refugee camps, but who then face assault or rape, or are forced into prostitution in order to obtain the food and water necessary for survival.
We ask you to initiate urgent assistance programmes and protection for women fleeing Ivory Coast in order to prevent the recurrence of serious violations of their fundamental rights, physical integrity and dignity.

We look forward to a speedy response regarding this urgent matter. Respectfully yours,

  • Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro, Dario Picciau, Glenys Robinson – EveryOne Group
  • Marilina Lucia Castiglioni, Facebook Group “Costa d’Avorio – La voce della Diaspora – Per il ritorno alla Pace”
  • Giuseppe Criseo – Sindacato Europeo dei Lavoratori
  • Alfred Breitman – Watching The Sky Group
  • Collettivo Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni
  • Rosalba Calabretta – Associazione “Solidarité Nord-Sud” ONLUS
  • Georges Alexandre – “Mouvement citoyen – kayak pour le droit à la vie”

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