Assisting and Protecting Refugee Women: A Policy Analysis

By Barbara J. Kampa and Raphael Nawrotzki.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) has risen sharply over the last decade. This trend is the result of several causes such as the impact of climatic change, conflicts over diminishing resources, and religious and ethical disagreements. The largest and most vulnerable subgroup among refugees is women and their dependent children, and they are frequently subject to abuse and neglect. To address protection issues, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released the Policy on Refugee Women in 1990. The authors provide a comprehensive policy analysis, building on an exploration of the historical background and a presentation of policy goals. This exploration sets the stage for a discussion of the influence and viewpoints of major interest groups, such as donors, governments, and non-governmental organizations. The authors draw upon case-studies and a variety of literary resources to explore diversity issues, social justice concerns, and ethical interests. Furthermore, the authors assess the policy’s implementation success by using the categories of positive outcomes (institutional change, new programming tools, improvement in refugee situation) and unintended outcomes (cultural and religious opposition, one-sidedness, negative conception). Finally, the authors present a comparison of the applications and implications of the 1990 UNHCR Policy from a global perspective, focusing primarily on the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada as exemplary countries. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for policy-makers and project managers to further improve protection and assistance programs to meet the needs of refugee women and girls worldwide.

Keywords: Refugee Women, Policy on Refugee Women, Social Justice, Intended Outcomes, Historical Background, Guidelines, Global Comparison

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 8, pp.39-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.257MB).

Barbara J. Kampa

Graduate Student, Social Work, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA

Barbara Kampa graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science. She is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work and a Master of Science in Community and International Development at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan. Barbara has over 25 years of experience teaching, administrating, and developing education programs for children and adults in non-traditional settings, including community education, private school, home-school cooperatives, churches, and an alternative school for at-risk teenagers. Barbara’s concern for victims of violence stems from her personal and professional involvement in foster care and orphan advocacy. She and her family adopted a special needs child from China, and she is currently employed as a Family Caseworker at White’s Residential and Family Services, a private, not-for-profit foster care and home-based services agency. Barbara holds membership in the Phi Alpha Honors Society of Social Work and in the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW). She is co-author of a poster entitled, Infusing Domestic Violence into HBSE Courses: A Unit Study Approach, which was presented at the 2008 Counsel of Social Work Education (CSWE) conference. Barbara currently lives with her husband and five children in South Bend, Indiana.

Raphael Nawrotzki

Student, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Andrews University, Boulder, Michigan, USA

In 2003, I enrolled at the University of Applied Science Darmstadt (Germany) to study Biotechnology with a concentration in Environmental-biotechnology. I gained knowledge of regenerative energies, different kinds of wastewater treatments, and drinking water purification. Moreover, I participated in a project to help people in China use their organic waste in a regenerative way through lactic acid fermentation. The capstone of my undergraduate work was my thesis titled Development of a Method for Solid State Fermentation of Trichoderma harzianum and Improvement of Suitable Conidia Formulations. For this work, I conducted 5 months of full-time research at the German Federal Biological Research Center (BBA). Afterwards, I enrolled in the masters program in Sustainable Development at the University of Basel (Switzerland). It was my goal to provide a broader foundation for my specialized knowledge in Environmental-biotechnology to prepare for leadership work in development aid. After one semester, I was given the opportunity to transfer to Andrews University (Michigan), so I enrolled in the Master of Science in Administration: Community and International Development program. For my specialization track, I have chosen Disaster Preparedness and Environmental Issues as my area of emphasis with a particular focus on climate change issues.

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